|17th Kentucky State Treasurer|
|Preceded by||Edwin Farley|
|Succeeded by||Sherman Goodpaster|
|Born||December 29, 1871|
|Died|| April 16, 1946 74) (aged|
|Resting place||Maple Grove Cemetery|
|Relations||Brother of John Stockdale Rhea|
|Alma mater||Bethel College|
Thomas Stockdale Rhea (1871–1946) was a Democratic politician from the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. He served as Kentucky State Treasurer in 1912 and was state highway commissioner in the administration of Governor Ruby Laffoon.Known as "The Sage of Russellville" or "The Gray Fox", Rhea was a powerful Democratic political boss in the state. He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1935, losing to A. B. "Happy" Chandler in the Democratic primary.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party. The Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, and leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has also promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice.
Commonwealth is a designation used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official state names: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Prior to the formation of the United States of America in 1776, all four were part of Great Britain's possessions along the Atlantic coast of North America. As such, they share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
Thomas Rhea was born in Russellville, Kentucky on December 29, 1871.He was the son of Albert Gallatin and Jane (Stockdale) Rhea. His father Albert was a circuit court judge and served in both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly, and his brother John Stockdale Rhea served in the U.S. House of Representatives. His grandfather, Charles Rhea, owned and edited the first newspaper in Logan County.
Russellville is a home rule-class city in Logan County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 6,947 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census.
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky. It comprises the Kentucky Senate and the Kentucky House of Representatives.
John Stockdale Rhea was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky.
Rhea obtained his early education in the area's public schools and at Bethel College in Russellville. – Lillian Rhea Noe, Thomas Jr., Albert III, and Roland.He began the practice of law in Logan County. He was the president of Southern Deposit Bank and vice-president of the Bank of Russellville. In 1905, he was elected sheriff of Logan County. In January 1916, Rhea married Lillian Clark of Russellville. The couple had four children
Bethel College was a Baptist-affiliated college in Kentucky founded in 1854 and closed in 1964. Throughout most of its history, the Hopkinsville campus was a women's college while the Russellville campus was a men's college.
Logan County is a county located in the southwest Pennyroyal Plateau area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,835. Its county seat is Russellville.
Rhea's political career began in 1912, with his election as state treasurer.From 1912 until his death, he was a delegate to every Democratic National Convention and, as one of five floor leaders at the 1932 convention in Chicago, was particularly instrumental in securing the delegates from the conservative Southern states for liberal New York native Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Kentucky State Treasurer is elected every four years along with the governor and other statewide officials. The treasurer, who can serve two terms, acts as the state's chief elected fiscal officer. The salary is $110,000 a year.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention. The primary goal of the Democratic National Convention is to nominate and confirm a candidate for president and vice president, adopt a comprehensive party platform and unify the party. Pledged delegates from all fifty U.S. states and from American dependencies and territories such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and superdelegates which are unpledged delegates representing the Democratic establishment, attend the convention and cast their votes to choose the Party's presidential candidate. Like the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention marks the formal end of the primary election period and the start of the general election season.
The 1932 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois June 27 – July 2, 1932. The convention resulted in the nomination of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York for President and Speaker of the House John N. Garner from Texas for Vice President. Beulah Rebecca Hooks Hannah Tingley was a member of the Democratic National Committee and Chair of the Democratic Party of Florida. She seconded the nomination of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, becoming the second woman to address a Democratic National Convention.
During World War I, Rhea served on the United States Munitions Board.He failed in a bid to become state auditor in 1915, and his term as treasurer expired in 1916. In 1919, he announced that he would run for governor, but later withdrew. In 1924, Governor William J. Fields appointed him to the state workman's compensation board, where he served until 1927. Rhea served as campaign chairman for J. C. W. Beckham in the 1927 gubernatorial race, but Beckham lost to Flem D. Sampson. In 1928, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
William Jason Fields was an American politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. Known as "Honest Bill from Olive Hill", he represented Kentucky's Ninth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1923, resigning to become the state's 41st governor.
John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham was the 35th Governor of Kentucky and a United States Senator from Kentucky. He was the state's first popularly-elected senator after the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment.
At the 1931 state Democratic convention, Rhea backed Madisonville judge Ruby Laffoon as the party's nominee for Governor of Kentucky and state senator J. Woodford Howard for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.Laffoon easily won the gubernatorial nomination, but Howard lost the nomination for lieutenant governor to Happy Chandler, in part because Chandler received the backing of Rhea's political enemy, Ben Johnson. Laffoon and Chandler won the election, and Laffoon removed Johnson as state highway commissioner, appointing Rhea to that position.
Madisonville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States, located along Interstate 69 in the state's Western Coal Fields region. The population was 19,591 at the 2010 census. Madisonville is a commercial center of the region and is home to Madisonville Community College.
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the head of the executive branch of government in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Fifty-seven men and one woman have served as Governor of Kentucky. The governor's term is four years in length; since 1992, incumbents have been able to seek re-election once before becoming ineligible for four years. Throughout the state's history, four men have served two non-consecutive terms as governor, and two others have served two consecutive terms. Kentucky is one of only five U.S. states that hold gubernatorial elections in odd-numbered years immediately before the United States Presidential Election. The current governor is Matt Bevin, who was first elected in 2015.
The office of Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky was created under the state's second constitution, which was ratified in 1799. The inaugural officeholder was Alexander Scott Bullitt, who took office in 1800 following his election to serve under James Garrard in 1799. The lieutenant governor serves as governor of Kentucky under circumstances similar to the Vice President of the United States assuming the powers of the presidency. The current Lieutenant Governor is Republican Jenean Hampton.
Laffoon backed Rhea as his successor in 1935.When Rhea and Laffoon traveled to Washington, D.C. for a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lieutenant Governor Chandler was left as acting governor. Chandler called the General Assembly into a special session to vote on a mandatory primary bill. Laffoon returned to the state and tried to invalidate the call, but being stymied by the state courts, agreed to a primary bill that required a runoff if no candidate received a majority. Laffoon believed that aging J. C. W. Beckham would once again run against Rhea in the Democratic primary and that a double primary would wear him down.
Beckham did not run in the primary, however; Chandler did.Attacking Laffoon's administration, especially the sales tax he enacted, Chandler derided Rhea as "Sales Tax Tom" and promised to save the state from "Ruby, Rhea, and Ruin". Rhea brought in Earle C. Clements to manage his campaign. Promising a business-like administration that would include fiscal reforms, Rhea charged that Chandler was "the Shadow Man" for Ben Johnson. Laffoon sent state troops into pro-Chandler Harlan County, intimidating voters into voting for Rhea.
In the first round of balloting, Rhea achieved a 19,000-vote plurality over Chandler, but it was not enough to avoid a runoff.In the runoff, Chandler won by a vote of 260,573 to 234,124. After his primary loss, Rhea bolted the Democratic party and supported Republican King Swope for governor. In the general election, Chandler defeated Swope to win the governorship.
Rhea became a mentor for his campaign manager, Earle Clements, who led an anti-Chandler faction of the Democratic Party for the next two decades.When Chandler challenged incumbent senator Alben Barkley in 1938, both Rhea and Clements backed Barkley. Rhea also supported John Y. Brown, Sr. against Chandler ally Keen Johnson in the 1939 gubernatorial election.
In 1941, Rhea was again elected sheriff of Logan County and became chair of the state sheriffs board.He continued his service as sheriff until 1945. He died at his home in Russellville on April 16, 1946. He was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Russellville. On the occasion of his death, an article in the Louisville Courier-Journal opined that "he was a figure whose like will not be seen again in Kentucky politics."
Alben William Barkley was an American lawyer and politician from Kentucky who served in both houses of Congress and as the 35th vice president of the United States from 1949 to 1953. In 1905, he was elected county attorney for McCracken County, Kentucky. He was chosen County Judge/Executive in 1909 and U.S. representative from Kentucky's First District in 1912. As a Representative, he was a liberal Democrat, supporting President Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom domestic agenda and foreign policy.
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler Sr. was an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He represented the Commonwealth in the U.S. Senate and served as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also served as the second Commissioner of Baseball from 1945 to 1951 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. His grandson, Ben Chandler, later served as congressman for Kentucky's Sixth District.
Edward Thompson Breathitt Jr. was an American politician from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A member of one of the state's political families, he was the 51st Governor of Kentucky, serving from 1963 to 1967. After serving in World War II and graduating from the University of Kentucky, Breathitt worked on the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson, the senatorial campaign of Alben Barkley, and the gubernatorial campaign of Bert T. Combs. When Combs won the governorship in 1959, he appointed Breathitt as personnel commissioner, where he wrote legislation establishing the first merit system for state employees. He continued to hold appointive offices throughout Combs' tenure, and in 1962, Combs endorsed Breathitt to succeed him as governor.
James Bennett McCreary was an American lawyer and politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress and served as its 27th and 37th governor. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was commissioned as the only major in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry, serving under Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan during the American Civil War. He returned to his legal practice after the war. In 1869, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives where he served until 1875; he was twice chosen Speaker of the House. At their 1875 nominating convention, state Democrats chose McCreary as their nominee for governor, and he won an easy victory over Republican John Marshall Harlan. With the state still feeling the effects of the Panic of 1873, most of McCreary's actions as governor were aimed at easing the plight of the state's poor farmers.
Ruby Laffoon was an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Kentucky from 1931 to 1935. A Kentucky native, at age 17 Laffoon moved to Washington, D.C., to live with his uncle, U.S. Representative Polk Laffoon. He developed an interest in politics and returned to Kentucky, where he compiled a mixed record of victories and defeats in elections at the county and state levels. In 1931, he was chosen as the Democratic gubernatorial nominee by a nominating convention, not a primary, making him the only Kentucky gubernatorial candidate to be chosen by a convention after 1903. In the general election, he defeated Republican William B. Harrison by what was then the largest margin of victory in Kentucky gubernatorial history.
Earle Chester Clements was an American farmer and politician. He represented the state of Kentucky in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and was its 47th Governor, serving from 1947 to 1950. For three decades, he was the leader of a faction of the state's Democratic Party that stood in opposition to the faction led by two-time governor and senator A. B. "Happy" Chandler.
Lawrence Winchester Wetherby was an American politician who served as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Kentucky. He is the only governor in state history born in Jefferson County, despite the fact that Louisville is the state's most populous city.
Keen Johnson was the 45th Governor of Kentucky, serving from 1939 to 1943; being the only journalist to have held that office. After serving in World War I, Johnson purchased and edited the Elizabethtown Mirror newspaper. He revived the struggling paper, sold it to a competitor and used the profits to obtain his journalism degree from the University of Kentucky in 1922. After graduation, he became editor of The Anderson News, and in 1925, he accepted an offer to co-publish and edit the Richmond Daily Register.
Augustus Owsley Stanley I was an American politician from Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 38th Governor of Kentucky and also represented the state in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. From 1903 to 1915, Stanley represented Kentucky's 2nd congressional district in the House of Representatives, where he gained a reputation as a progressive reformer. Beginning in 1904, he called for an antitrust investigation of the American Tobacco Company, claiming they were a monopsony that drove down prices for the tobacco farmers of his district. As a result of his investigation, the Supreme Court of the United States ordered the breakup of the American Tobacco Company in 1911. Stanley also chaired a committee that conducted an antitrust investigation of U.S. Steel, which brought him national acclaim. Many of his ideas were incorporated into the Clayton Antitrust Act.
Edwin Porch Morrow was an American politician, who served as the 40th Governor of Kentucky from 1919 to 1923. He was the only Republican elected to this office between 1907 and 1927. He championed the typical Republican causes of his day, namely equal rights for African-Americans and the use of force to quell violence. Morrow had been schooled in his party's principles by his father, Thomas Z. Morrow, who was its candidate for governor in 1883, and his uncle, William O. Bradley, who was elected governor in 1895. Both men were founding members of the Republican Party in Kentucky.
Simeon Slavens Willis was the 46th Governor of Kentucky, United States, serving from 1943 to 1947. He was the only Republican elected governor of Kentucky between 1927 and 1967.
Bertram Thomas Combs was an American jurist and politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. After serving on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, he was elected the 50th Governor of Kentucky in 1959 on his second run for the office. Following his gubernatorial term, he was appointed to serve as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Lyndon B. Johnson, serving from 1967 to 1970.
Flemon Davis "Flem" Sampson was the 42nd Governor of Kentucky, serving from 1927 to 1931. He graduated from Valparaiso University in 1894, and opened a law practice in Barbourville, Kentucky. He formed a political alliance with future Representatives Caleb Powers and John Robsion, both prominent Republicans in the eastern part of the state. By 1916, he was serving on the Kentucky Court of Appeals and had previously served as a county judge and circuit court judge. In 1923, he was elevated to chief justice of the Court of Appeals. He served until 1927, when he became the Republican gubernatorial nominee.
Augustus Everett Willson was an American politician and the 36th Governor of Kentucky. Orphaned at the age of twelve, Willson went to live with relatives in New England. This move exposed him to such literary masters as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, who were associates of his older brother, poet Forceythe Willson. He was also afforded the opportunity to attend Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. in 1869 and an A.M. in 1872. After graduation, he secured a position at the law firm of future Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan. Willson and Harlan became lifelong friends, and Willson's association with Harlan deepened his support of the Republican Party.
The Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899 was held on November 7, 1899, to choose the 33rd governor of Kentucky. The incumbent, Republican William O'Connell Bradley, was term-limited and unable to seek re-election.
Edward Clay O'Rear was an American politician who served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals and was a Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1888 and for Governor of Kentucky in 1911. His father died when O'Rear was very young, and he began work as a printer's devil to help support his mother and fourteen siblings. Eventually, he became editor of the Mountain Scorcher newspaper and read law under its publisher. He gained admission to the bar in 1882.
| Treasurer of Kentucky |
| Succeeded by|