Earle C. Clements

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Earle Chester Clements (born October 22, 1896 in Morganfield , Union County , Kentucky , †  March 12, 1985 ibid) was an American politician and governor of Kentucky. He also represented this state in both chambers of Congress .

Early years and advancement

Young Earle Clements attended Morganfield High School and the University of Kentucky . During the First World War he was a captain of the infantry. After the war he tried his hand at oilfields in Texas , and on his return as a football coach. Since 1922 he was politically active. From 1922 to 1926 he was sheriff in Union County. He then became a bailiff in Union County; from 1934 to 1941 he served as a judge at the same court. From 1942 to 1945 he sat for the Democratic Party in the Kentucky Senate . He spent the following two years until 1947 as a member of the United States House of Representatives in Washington . Clements decided to run for the 1947 gubernatorial election. In doing so, he encountered considerable opposition within the Democratic Party. Since he had not supported the election campaign of Happy Chandler in 1935 , this was with his supporters against a candidacy by Clements. In tough primary elections, Clements was able to prevail against Lieutenant Governor Harry Lee Waterfield . He won the actual election against the Republican Eldon S. Dummit with 57.2% of the vote. Dummitt only got 42.5% of the vote.

Kentucky governor

Clement's tenure as governor began on December 9, 1947 and ended prematurely on November 27, 1950, because he was elected to the US Senate . During his time as governor, the "Kentucky State Police" was established, a police agency subordinate to the country. In addition, the salaries of state employees were redefined. The governor invested a lot of money in expanding the motorways and state roads. He also took care of the state's own recreation and nature parks and created a building commission ( Kentucky Building Commission ). However, he failed to generally desegregate Kentucky. This problem was only solved by his successors. In November 1950 he was elected to the US Senate against Charles I. Dawson and therefore resigned from his office. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Lawrence Wetherby .

Further life and death

From 1951 to 1957 he represented Kentucky's interests in Washington as a senator. Together with Lyndon B. Johnson he led the democratic group there. In the next election he missed his re-election, also because his old rival Chandler used his influence in Kentucky against Clements. The inner-party dispute between the supporters of the two men would drag on for years. In 1960, after his rival Chandler retired from the office of governor, he became Kentucky Highway Commissioner . He was thus responsible for maintaining the motorway network. His last role was as President of the Tobacco Institute trade association . He held this office from 1964 to 1976.

Earle Clements died on March 12, 1985. He was married to Sarah M. Blue and the couple had one child.

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