John M. Ashbrook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John M. Ashbrook
JohnMAshbrook.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 17th district
In office
January 3, 1961 – April 24, 1982
Preceded byRobert W. Levering
Succeeded byJean Spencer Ashbrook
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
1957–1961
Personal details
Born
John Milan Ashbrook

(1928-09-21)September 21, 1928
Johnstown, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 24, 1982(1982-04-24) (aged 53)
Johnstown, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Joan Needels
Jean Spencer
Children3
MotherMarie Swank
FatherWilliam A. Ashbrook
EducationHarvard University
Ohio State University

John Milan Ashbrook (September 21, 1928 – April 24, 1982) was an American politician of the Republican Party who served in the United States House of Representatives from Ohio from 1961 until his death from peptic ulcer in Johnstown, Ohio in 1982.[1]

Early life[edit]

John Milan Ashbrook was born on September 21, 1928, in Johnstown, Ohio to William A. Ashbrook, a newspaper editor, businessman, and U.S. representative, and Marie Swank. After graduating from Harvard University in 1952, and from Ohio State University's law school in 1955, Ashbrook became the publisher of his father's newspaper, the Johnstown Independent. On July 3, 1948, he married Joan Needels and later had three children with her before they divorced in 1971. In 1974, he remarried to Jean Spencer.[2]

Career[edit]

He was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1956, and served two terms. In 1960, the seat that his father held in the House of Representatives was vacated and Ashbrook ran for and won it.

1964 presidential election[edit]

With William Rusher and F. Clifton White, associates from the Young Republicans in the 1950s, Ashbrook was involved in the start-up of the Draft Goldwater Committee in 1961.[3]

In 1966, journalist Drew Pearson reported that Ashbrook was one of a group of Congressman who had received the "Statesman of the Republic" award from Liberty Lobby for his "right-wing activities".[4]

1972 presidential election[edit]

Presidential campaign logo

Despite having supported Richard Nixon during the 1968 presidential election Ashbrook turned against him during his presidency. On December 29, 1971 he announced that he would oppose Nixon in the Republican primaries as an alternative conservative candidate and received support from conservative figures like William F. Buckley Jr..[5][6][7][8] His slogan "No Left Turns" was illustrated by a mock traffic symbol of a left-turn arrow with a superimposed No symbol. It was meant to symbolize the frustration of some conservatives with Nixon, whom they saw as having abandoned conservative principles and "turned left" on issues such as budget deficits, affirmative action, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, wage and price controls, and most of all, improving relations with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China with his policy of détente.

Ashbrook competed in the New Hampshire (9.8% of the vote), Florida (9%), and California (10%) primaries. He withdrew from the race after the California primary and "with great reluctance" supported Nixon. His campaign, although of minimal immediate impact, is remembered fondly by conservatives who admire Ashbrook for having stood for their principles. Ashbrook said in criticism of the Nixon administration,"I still believe it in the best American tradition to speak out even when it is in criticism of your party's actions."[9]

When Nixon became mired in the Watergate scandal, Ashbrook became the first House Republican to call for the President's resignation.[10]

Death and Legacy[edit]

In 1982, he announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Howard Metzenbaum and polls showed him winning the race with a plurality, but on April 24, 1982 he suffered a gastric hemorrhage and died.[11][12]

His wife, Jean Spencer Ashbrook, was chosen in a special election to serve the remaining seven months of his congressional term.[13]

The Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University was named for Ashbrook in 1983.[14] A periodic John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner at the center features leading conservative speakers from President Ronald Reagan (first dinner; dedication of the Center, in 1983)[15] and Margaret Thatcher (1993) to Mitt Romney (April 2010) and John Boehner (June 2011).[16]

Ronald Reagan was president at the time of Ashbrook's death. He honored him with these words: "John Ashbrook was a man of courage and principle. He served his constituents and his country with dedication and devotion, always working towards the betterment of his fellow man. His patriotism and deep belief in the greatness of America never wavered and his articulate and passionate calls for a return to old-fashioned American values earned him the respect of all who knew him."[1]

Electoral history[edit]

John M. Ashbrook electoral history
1960 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook 79,609 53.05% +4.73%
Democratic Robert W. Levering (incumbent) 70,470 46.96% -4.73%
Total votes '150,079' '100.00%'
1962 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 69,976 58.61% +5.56%
Democratic Robert W. Levering 49,415 41.39% -5.56%
Total votes '119,391' '100.00%'
1964 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 75,674 51.49% -7.12%
Democratic Robert W. Levering 71,291 48.51% +7.12%
Total votes '119,391' '100.00%'
1966 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 73,132 55.34% +3.85%
Democratic Robert T. Secrest (incumbent) 59,031 44.67% -3.85%
Total votes '132,163' '100.00%'
1968 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 100,148 64.92% +9.58%
Democratic Robert W. Levering 54,127 35.09% -9.58%
Total votes '154,275' '100.00%'
1970 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 79,472 62.19% -2.73%
Democratic James C. Hood 44,066 34.48% -0.61%
American Independent Clifford J. Simpson 4,253 3.33% +3.33%
Total votes '127,791' '100.00%'
1972 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 28,582 75.32%
Republican William L. White 9,366 24.68%
Total votes '37,948' '100.00%'
1972 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 92,666 57.36% -4.83%
Democratic Raymond C. Beck 62,512 38.69% +4.21%
American Independent Clifford J. Simpson 6,376 3.95% +0.62%
Total votes '161,554' '100.00%'
1974 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 22,845 70.72% -4.60%
Republican David L. Martin 9,458 29.28%
Total votes '32,303' '100.00%'
1974 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 70,708 52.75% -4.61%
Democratic David D. Noble 63,342 47.25% +8.56%
Independent Clifford J. Simpson 3 0.00% -3.95%
Total votes '134,053' '100.00%'
1976 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 35,836 83.03% +12.31%
Republican Donald C. Wickham 7,326 16.97%
Total votes '43,162' '100.00%'
1976 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 94,874 56.80% +4.05%
Democratic John C. McDonald 72,168 43.20% -4.05%
Total votes '167,042' '100.00%'
1978 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 87,010 67.38% +10.58%
Democratic Kenneth R. Grier 42,117 32.62% -10.58%
Total votes '129,127' '100.00%'
1980 Ohio Seventeenth Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican John M. Ashbrook (incumbent) 128,870 72.90% +5.52%
Democratic Donald E. Yunker 47,900 27.10% -5.52%
Total votes '176,770' '100.00%'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John M. Ashbrook", Ashbrook Center biography. The Reagan quote came from "a statement released upon learning of the passing of John Ashbrook"; On Principle, Special Edition, 15th Anniversary of the Ashbrook Center (c. 1998), p. 15.
  2. ^ "John M. Ashbrook, represented Ohio in U.S. House since 1961". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 25, 1982. p. 50. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Buckeye Republicans Work Together When Chips Down". Telegraph-Forum. July 20, 1964. p. 8. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  4. ^ Pearson, Drew (November 2, 1966). "Judge Rules Against Liberty Lobby". The Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. p. 6. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  5. ^ "Another Challenger to Nixon will enter primary battles". The Herald-News. December 29, 1971. p. 13. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Ashbrook". Tampa Bay Times. February 27, 1972. p. 61. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Nixon Trip Brings Thunder on the Right". Philadelphia Daily News. March 1, 1972. p. 4. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Gillian Peele, 'American Conservatism in Historical Perspective', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 25
  9. ^ "Ashbrook, John M(ilan)." Current Biography 1973. The H. W. Wilson Company. 1973.P.20.
  10. ^ "A Remembrance of John M. Ashbrook". Ashbrook. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ashbrook biography". The Newark Advocate. April 26, 1982. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Ashbrook death triggers wave of shock, mourning". The Newark Advocate. April 26, 1982. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "ASHBROOK, Jean Spencer | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  14. ^ "Ashland College sets memorial to Ashbrook; Reagan may attend fete". Telegraph-Forum. April 6, 1983. p. 2. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "About the Ashbrook Center", website of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  16. ^ "John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner", website of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved 20 July 2011.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert W. Levering
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 17th congressional district

1961–1982
Succeeded by
Jean S. Ashbrook