Earl Hutto

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Earl Hutto
Earl Dewitt Hutto.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byBob Sikes
Succeeded byJoe Scarborough
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
1972–1976
Personal details
Born (1926-05-12) May 12, 1926 (age 93)
Midland City, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nancy Myers (July 23, 1967 - present)[1]

Earl Dewitt Hutto (born May 12, 1926) is an American politician. He is a former U.S. Representative from Florida's 1st congressional district.

Born in Midland City, Alabama, Hutto attended Dale County public schools, and received a Bachelor of Science from Troy State University in 1949. He served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946. Afterward he returned to graduate school, studying broadcasting at Northwestern University in 1951. He worked as sports director at WEAR-TV in Pensacola, Florida from 1954 to 1961, WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Alabama from 1961 to 1963, and WJHG-TV in Panama City, Florida, from 1961 to 1973. He operated an advertising agency from 1973 to 1979.

Hutto was elected as a Democrat to the Florida House of Representatives in 1972 and was reelected in 1974 and 1976. He was elected in 1978 to the 96th and to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1995. He decided not to run as a candidate in 1994 for reelection to the 104th Congress.

Hutto was one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. The white conservatives of his district had begun to vote for Republican presidential candidates in the 1960s, but continued to reelect him. However, it was widely believed that he would be succeeded by a Republican once he retired, given that conservative whites in the area were trending increasingly Republican. He voted against the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986.[2]

In 1990, Hutto was nearly defeated by Republican challenger Terry Ketchel, who held Hutto to 52 percent of the vote. This was the first competitive contest in the district in recent memory. For more than half of the twentieth century, most African Americans had been effectively disenfranchised in the state. White Democrats made up the voting majority throughout this state and in the Solid South. Hutto defeated Ketchel in a rematch in 1992, but was once again held to only 52 percent of the vote. Because of his narrow victories, he opted not to run for reelection in 1994. He was succeeded by Republican Joe Scarborough, and no Democrat has won above 40% of the vote since Hutto left office.

References[edit]

  • United States Congress. "Earl Hutto (id: H001018)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Sikes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 1st congressional district
1979–1995
Succeeded by
Joe Scarborough