Sen. Byrd Sets Record for Longest-Serving Lawmaker

November 18, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Senator Robert Byrd, just two days shy of his 92nd birthday, has reached a significant milestone in his long distinguished Congressional career, that’s unlikely to be surpassed. As of Wednesday, the Democratic lawmaker from West Virginia, becomes the longest-serving member of Congress in history, serving 20,774th days in Congress.

The Senator, known for his eloquent speeches, broke the standing record set by Carl T. Hayden, a Democrat from Arizona who served a total of 20,773 days in the U.S. House and Senate. Sen. Byrd’s record is a testament to his longevity in politics. He first served six years in the House and then nearly 51 years in the Senate, where he still serves.

Byrd cast more than 18,000 votes while in the Senate, attained the largest number of leadership positions and has never lost an election. That’s quite an accomplishment, that may not be repeated soon, in the divisive and partisan politics of the 21st century.

Byrd’s early years as a lawmaker were marked by racism. He belonged to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and voted against Lyndon Johnson’s historic Civil Rights Act. Byrd later called his Klu Klux Klan membership “the most egregious mistake I’ve ever made.” In his later years, Byrd became a vocal critic of the Bush administration.

His Congressional service spanning over half a century, was characterized by his devotion to his Appalachian constituents of West Virginia, which he notes in his statement released on his website:

“Although we are marking a longevity milestone, it has been the quality and dedication of service that has guided me over the years. I have strived to provide the people of West Virginia the best representation possible each of the 20,774 days which I have served in the Congress of the United States,” said Byrd in his statement.

He thanked his constituents for their support and for “putting their trust and faith in me.”

Byrd regretted his wife Emma could not be with him to celebrate his record-breaking longevity in Congress. Byrd’s wife died in 2006.

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3 Responses to “Sen. Byrd Sets Record for Longest-Serving Lawmaker”

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    […] (ChattahBox)—Senator Robert Byrd, just two days shy of his 92nd birthday, has reached a significant milestone in his long distinguished Congressional career, that’s unlikely to be surpassed. As of Wednesday, the Democratic lawmaker from West Virginia, …Read Original Story: Sen. Byrd Sets Record for Longest-Serving Lawmaker – ChattahBox […]

  2. About longest-serving congress, west virginia sen. robert byrd, senator byrd, robert c. byrd | Find me About on November 18th, 2009 3:09 pm

    […] (ChattahBox)—Senator Robert Byrd, just two days shy of his 92nd birthday, has reached a significant milestone in his long distinguished Congressional career, that’s unlikely to be surpassed. As of Wednesday, the Democratic lawmaker from West Virginia, …Read Original Story: Sen. Byrd Sets Record for Longest-Serving Lawmaker – ChattahBox […]

  3. About longest-serving congress, west virginia sen. robert byrd, senator byrd | Find me About on November 18th, 2009 5:07 pm

    […] (ChattahBox)—Senator Robert Byrd, just two days shy of his 92nd birthday, has reached a significant milestone in his long distinguished Congressional career, that’s unlikely to be surpassed. As of Wednesday, the Democratic lawmaker from West Virginia, …Read Original Story: Sen. Byrd Sets Record for Longest-Serving Lawmaker – ChattahBox […]

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