Gary Warren Hart


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(b. Ottawa, Kansas, 28 Nov. 1936)

US; US Senator 1976–84 Hart was educated at Bethany Navarene College and Yale's Divinity and Law schools. He practised law between 1967 and 1974 when he ran for the Senate. Hart had managed the primary strategy of the McGovern presidential campaign in 1972 and projected himself as part of a new generation of Democratic politicians with fresh ideas. He won the Senate seat in 1976 against incumbent Republican Peter Dominick.

In the Senate Hart established himself as an authority on military policy, serving on the Armed Services Committee, where his attention to detail gained respect from both parties and from hawks and doves. He also established effective environmental credentials on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its subcommittees on nuclear regulation and environmental pollution.

Gary Hart made two attempts at securing the Democratic nomination. In 1984 he lost to Walter Mondale but performed sufficiently well to make him the front runner in 1988. However, press speculation about sexual infidelity after he was seen in the company of model Donna Rice raised a major character issue and forced him to withdraw from the race. He did not seek re-election to the Senate and left politics to practise law. Between 1998 and January 2001 he served on the US Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (also known as the Hart–Rudman Commission) which advised President Clinton on homeland security.

Subjects: Politics.

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