List of members of the United States Congress by brevity of service

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This is a list of United States congresspersons by brevity of service. It includes Representatives and Senators who have served at least less than two years in the House or six years in the Senate, not counting currently serving members. This list excludes members whose term ended with 73rd United States Congress that served the entirety of that term, which due to the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution, only lasted from March 4, 1933 to January 3, 1935, and inaugural holders of Class 1 and Class 2 Senate seats that served the entirety of the first term, due to the initial terms being only 2 and 4 years long respectively, as the Senate classes were staggered so that a third of the seats would be up every two years.

Key[edit]

In green Appointed to Senate or won special election
D Died
R Resigned
AE Appointed or elected to a different office
O Other reason for loss of office

Senate time[edit]

Tenure Name Party affiliation State Reason for leaving Dates of service Lifespan
1 1 day[a] Rebecca Latimer Felton[1] Democratic Georgia Appointed and did not seek reelection. November 21, 1922 – November 22, 1922[b] 1835-1930
2[c] 3 days Louis C. Wyman[1] (O) Republican New Hampshire Initially won election to the Senate, but was appointed shortly before it convening to gain seniority over the rest of the incoming session. His seat was ruled as vacant and a new election was held. December 31, 1974 – January 3, 1975 1917-2002
3 8 days Homer V. M. Miller (O) Democratic Georgia Won election to the Senate, but was not seated until February 24, 1871 and served the remainder of his term. February 24, 1871 – March 3, 1871 1814-1896
4 10 days Alva M. Lumpkin (D) Democratic South Carolina Appointed following the vacancy created by James F. Byrnes's appointment to the Supreme Court and later died. July 22, 1941 – August 1, 1941 1886-1941
5 44 days Wilton E. Hall Democratic South Carolina Appointed following the vacancy created by Ellison D. Smith's death and chose not to seek reelection. November 20, 1944 – January 3, 1945 1901-1980
6 55 days Thomas M. Storke Democratic California Appointed as interim Senator following the vacancy created by William Gibbs McAdoo's resignation and the inauguration of Sheridan Downey. November 9, 1938 – January 3, 1939 1876-1971
7 59 days Dean Barkley[1] Independence Party of Minnesota Minnesota Appointed following the death of Paul Wellstone. November 4, 2002 – January 3, 2003 1950-
8 59 days John Moses (D) Democratic North Dakota Won in the general election, died in office. January 3, 1945 – March 3, 1945 1885-1945
9 73 days George Jones Democratic-Republican Georgia Appointed to fill out the remainder of Abraham Baldwin's term. August 27, 1807 – November 7, 1807 1766-1838
10 93 days Jocelyn Burdick[1] Democratic North Dakota Appointed following the death of her husband Quentin Burdick. September 12, 1992 – December 14, 1992 1922-2019
97 days George Walton
11 104 days Elaine Edwards[1] (R) Democratic Louisiana Appointed following the death of Allen J. Ellender and later resigned. August 1, 1972 – November 13, 1972 1929-2018
12 110 days Middleton P. Barrow Democratic Georgia Appointed to fill out the remainder of Benjamin Harvey Hill's term and did not seek election to a term in his own right. November 15, 1882 – March 3, 1883 1839-1903
13 117 days Oliver H. Prince Democratic Georgia Selected by the state legislature to fill the vacancy caused by Thomas W. Cobb's resignation. November 7, 1828 – March 4, 1829 1782-1837
14 129 days Charles B. Mitchel (O) Democratic Arkansas Elected in the general election and later expelled from the Senate. March 4, 1861 – July 11, 1861 1815-1864
15 143 days Jeffrey Chiesa[2] Republican New Jersey Appointed following the death of Frank Lautenberg and chose not to run in the special election. June 10, 2013 – October 31, 2013 1965
16 144 days Bob Krueger[1] Democratic Texas Appointed following the appointment of Lloyd Bentsen as Secretary of the Treasury and was defeated in the special election. January 21, 1993 – June 14, 1993 1935-
17 144 days Dixie Bibb Graves[3] (R) Democratic Alabama Appointed following the appointment of Hugo Black as a Supreme Court Justice and later resigned. August 20, 1937 – January 10, 1938 1882-1965
18 144 days George R. Swift[3] Democratic Alabama Appointed following the death of John H. Bankhead II. June 15, 1946 – November 5, 1946 1887-1972
19 149 days Sheila Frahm[1] Republican Kansas Appointed following the resignation of Bob Dole and was defeated in the Republican primary. June 11, 1996 – November 7, 1996 1945-
20 152 days Maryon Pittman Allen[3] Democratic Alabama Appointed following the death of her husband James Allen and later lost the Democratic primary for the special election. June 8, 1978 – November 7, 1978 1925-2018
21 165 days Mo Cowan[2] Democratic Massachusetts Appointed following the appointment of John Kerry as Secretary of State and chose not to run in the special election. February 1, 2013 – July 16, 2013 1969-
213 days William Bellinger Bulloch
22 215 days Thomas A. Wofford Democratic South Carolina Appointed following the resignation of Strom Thurmond and chose not to run in the special election. April 5, 1956 – November 6, 1956 1908-1978
23 240 days Joseph M. Terrell
24 242 days B. B. Comer[3] Democratic Alabama Appointed following the death of John H. Bankhead. March 5, 1920 – November 2, 1920 1848-1927
25 247 days William Stanley West
26 259 days Nicholas F. Brady[1] Republican New Jersey Appointed following the resignation of Harrison A. Williams and chose not to run in the special election. April 12, 1982 – December 27, 1982 1930-
27 262 days John S. Cohen
274 days Israel Pickens
28 275 days John C. Breckinridge (O) Democratic Kentucky Elected in the general election and later expelled from the Senate. March 4, 1861 – December 4, 1861 1821-1875
29 277 days Robert M. Charlton
297 days Francis S. White
30 299 days Waldo P. Johnson (O) Democratic Missouri Elected in the general election and later expelled from the Senate. March 17, 1861 – January 10, 1862 1817-1885
303 days George S. Houston
307 days Luther Strange
322 days Luke Pryor
327 days Henry H. Chambers
31 337 days Patrick Walsh Democratic Georgia Appointed to fill out the remainder of the term of Alfred H. Colquitt. April 2, 1894 – March 3, 1895 1840-1899
32 340 days William Blount (O) Democratic-Republican Tennessee Appointed as Tennessee's first senator and was later expelled from the Senate. August 2, 1796 – July 8, 1797 1749-1800
33 373 days Hiram Rhodes Revels Republican Mississippi Elected in a special election following Mississippi's readmission into the United States and later chose not to seek reelection. February 23, 1870 – March 3, 1871 1827-1901
34 474 days Louis Wigfall (O) Democratic Texas Appointed to fill the vacancy created by James Pinckney Henderson's death and later expelled from the Senate. December 5, 1859 – March 23, 1861 1816-1874
35 698 days Harlan Mathews Democratic Tennessee Appointed to fill the vacancy created by Al Gore's resignation and later chose not to seek reelection. January 2, 1993 – December 1, 1994 1927-2014
36 762 days Richard Nixon (AE) Republican California Appointed following the resignation of Sheridan Downey to the seat he recently won the election for to gain seniority and later elected to the vice presidency. December 1, 1950 – January 1, 1953 1913-1994
787 days Donald Stewart
813 days William Kelly
1,095 days John Williams Walker
1,100 days William Wyatt Bibb
1,108 days Josiah Tattnall
1,190 days Jeremiah Clemens
1,245 days John Milledge
37 1,413 days Barack Obama (R) Democratic Illinois Elected in the general election and later resigned after winning the 2008 presidential election. January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008 1961-
1,779 days John Forsyth
1,964 days William H. Crawford

House time[edit]

Tenure Name Party affiliation State Reason for leaving Dates of service Lifespan
1 1 day Effingham Lawrence (O) Democratic Louisiana See Effingham Lawrence March 3, 1875 – March 4, 1875 1820-1878
2 35 days Brenda Jones Democratic Michigan Won special election and was defeated in Democratic primary. November 29, 2018 – January 3, 2019 1959-
3 39 days James Mann[4] (D) Democratic Louisiana Won in the general election and died in office. July 18, 1868 – August 26, 1868 1822-1868
4 51 days David Curson[5] Democratic Michigan Won special election and did not seek reelection. November 13, 2012 – January 3, 2013 1948-
4 51 days Shelley Sekula-Gibbs Republican Texas Won special election and later lost in the Republican primary. November 13, 2006 – January 3, 2007 1953-
5 84 days Nathaniel D. Wallace[4] Democratic Louisiana Won special election and did not seek reelection. December 9, 1886 – March 3, 1887 1845-1894
6 89 days John W. Hunter Democratic New York Won special election to fill James Humphrey's seat following his death and did not seek reelection. December 4, 1866 to March 3, 1867 1807-1900
7 90 days Alexander Boarman[4] Liberal Republican Louisiana Won special election and lost reelection. December 3, 1872 – March 3, 1873 1839-1916
7 90 days Benjamin Flanders[4] Unionist Louisiana Won special election and did not seek reelection. December 3, 1862 – March 3, 1863 1816-1896
8 95 days William Francis Strudwick Federalist North Carolina Won a special election to follow Absalom Tatom and did not seek reelection. November 28, 1796 – March 3, 1797 1765-1812
9 107 days Robert L. Coffey (D) Democratic Pennsylvania Won in the general election and died in office. January 3, 1949 – April 20, 1949 1918-1949
10 118 days J. Smith Young Democratic Louisiana Won special election to fill John E. Leonard's seat following his death and did not seek reelection. November 5, 1878 – March 3, 1879 1834-1916
11 121 days Richard Alvin Tonry[4] (R) Democratic Louisiana Won in the general election and later resigned. January 3, 1977 – May 4, 1977 1935-2012
12 152 days John William Reid (O) Democratic Missouri Won in the general election and later expelled from the House. March 4, 1861 – August 3, 1861 1821-1881
13 188 days Jean Spencer Ashbrook Republican Ohio Won in a special election to follow her husband John M. Ashbrook and later chose not to run for reelection. June 29, 1982 – January 3, 1983 1934-
14 207 days James C. Alvord (D) Whig Massachusetts Won in the general election and later died. March 4, 1839 – September 27, 1839 1808-1839
14 207 days Alton Waldon Democratic New York Won in a special election to follow Joseph P. Addabbo and later lost in the Democratic primary. June 10, 1986 – January 3, 1987 1936-
214 days William B. Spencer
15 222 days Larkin I. Smith (D) Republican Mississippi Won in a special election to replace Trent Lott and died. January 3, 1989 – August 13, 1989 1944-1989
16 226 days Charles Djou Republican Hawaii Won in a special election to replace Neil Abercrombie and later lost reelection. May 22, 2010 – January 3, 2011 1970-
228 days W. Jasper Blackburn
228 days Michel Vidal
17 241 days James Davenport (D) Federalist Connecticut Won in a special election to replace James Hillhouse and later died. December 5, 1796 – August 3, 1797 1758-1797
18 245 days Don Cazayoux Democratic Louisiana Won in a special election to replace Richard Baker and later lost reelection. May 3, 2008 – January 3, 2009 1964-
246 days James McCleery
19 298 days Walter Capps (D) Democratic California Won in the general election and later died in office. January 3, 1997 – October 28, 1997 1934-1997
20 304 days Katie Hill (R) Democratic California Won in the general election and later resigned. January 3, 2019 – November 3, 2019 1987-
21 358 days Henry Latimer (AE) Federalist Delaware Lost in the general election, but contested the results and was ruled as the victor causing a delayed inauguration and later elected to Senate. February 14, 1794 – February 7, 1795 1752-1819
376 days John E. Leonard
22 382 days Bill Janklow (R) Democratic South Dakota Won in the general election and later resigned due to causing a fatal car crash.[6] January 3, 2003 – January 20, 2004 1939-2012
23 383 days Anthony Wayne (O) Democratic Georgia Won in the general election, but seat was later ruled as vacant due to dispute over his residency. March 4, 1791 – March 21, 1792 1745-1796
24 389 days Trey Radel[7] (R) Republican Florida Won in the general election and later resigned. January 3, 2013 – January 27, 2014 1976-
25 413 day Vance McAllister (R)[7] Republican Louisiana Won a special election to replace Rodney Alexander and later did not seek reelection. November 16, 2013 – January 3, 2015 1974-
417 days Pierre Bossier
26 425 days George Allen Republican Virginia Won a special election to replace D. French Slaughter Jr. and later chose not to seek reelection. November 5, 1991 – January 3, 1993 1952-
27 455 days Absalom Tatom (R) Democratic-Republican North Carolina Won in the general election and later resigned. March 4, 1795 – June 1, 1796 1742-1802
464 days George Luke Smith
466 days Michael Hahn
475 days Samuel Louis Gilmore
28 478 days Bob Turner Republican New York Won a special election to replace Anthony Weiner and later did not seek reelection. September 13, 2011 – January 3, 2013 1941-
29 492 days Eric Massa (R) Democratic New York Won in the general election and later resigned. January 3, 2009 – March 8, 2010 1969-
512 days Joseph P. Newsham
30 522 days Frank Ballance (R) Democratic North Carolina Won in the general election and later resigned. January 3, 2003 – June 8, 2004 1942-2019
31 528 days George Partridge (R) Pro-Administration Massachusetts Won in the general election and later resigned. March 4, 1789 – August 14, 1790 1740-1828
32 531 days Joseph F. Smith Democratic Pennsylvania Won in a special election to follow Raymond Lederer and later lost in the Democratic primary. July 21, 1981 – January 3, 1983 1920-1999
531 days Charles Magill Conrad
33 556 days Karen Handel Republican Georgia Won a special election to replace Tom Price and later lost reelection. June 26, 2017 – January 3, 2019 1962-
34 564 days Mark Takai Democratic Hawaii Won in the general election and later died in office. January 3, 2015 – July 20, 2016 1967-2016
35 582 days Kathy Hochul Democratic New York Won a special election to replace Chris Lee and later lost reelection. June 1, 2011 – January 3, 2013 1962-
35 582 days Benjamin Franklin Whittemore (R) Republican South Carolina Won a special election following South Carolina's readmission into the Union and later resigned. July 18, 1868 – February 24, 1870 1824-1894
36 594 days Lovell Rousseau (R) Unconditional Unionist Kentucky Elected in the general election, but resigned after being censured only to run in the special election and won to follow himself and later did not seek reelection. March 4, 1865 – July 21, 1866; December 3, 1866 – March 3, 1867 1818-1869
37 600 days William T. Redmond Republican New Mexico Won a special election to replace Bill Richardson and later lost reelection. May 13, 1997 – January 3, 1999 1955-
38 602 days John T. Deweese (R) Republican North Carolina Won a special election following North Carolina's readmission into the Union and later resigned. July 6, 1868 – February 28, 1870 1835-1906
39 609 days Peter W. Barca Democratic Wisconsin Won a special election to replace Les Aspin and later lost reelection. May 4, 1993 – January 3, 1995 1955-
40 614 days Scott Murphy Democratic New York Won a special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand and later lost reelection. April 29, 2009 – January 3, 2011 1970-
40 614 days Uriah Forrest (R) Federalist Maryland Won in the general election and later resigned. March 4, 1793 – November 8, 1794 1756-1805
41 644 days Catherine Small Long Democratic Louisiana Won a special election to follow her husband Gillis William Long and later chose not to run for reelection. March 30, 1985 – January 3, 1987 1924-2019
661 days John H. Overton
42 674 days Sam Brownback (AE) Republican Kansas Won in the general election and later the special Senate election to follow Bob Dole. January 3, 1995 – November 7, 1996 1956-
43 730 days Tim Scott (AE)(R) Republican South Carolina Won in the general election, later won election to the Senate, and resigned a day before his House term ended to accept appointment to the Senate. January 3, 2011 – January 2, 2013 1965-

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ If one where to only count following her inauguration then she would only have served one day, but if tenure were counted she would have served 50 days
  2. ^ Tenure: October 3, 1922 - November 22, 1922
  3. ^ 1 if one were to count Felton's tenure rather than days served.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Who's On The Senate 'Short List'?". Archived from the original on 15 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Mo Cowan, Jeff Chiesa join a long line of short-term senators".
  3. ^ a b c d "The Shortest-Serving U.S. Senators in Alabama History".
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Shortest Tenures of Louisiana US Reps in History".
  5. ^ "Jeff Chiesa Appointment: The Long History Of The Shortest Congressional Tenures".
  6. ^ Goldstein, Richard (2012-01-12). "Bill Janklow, a Four-Term Governor of South Dakota, Dies at 72". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  7. ^ a b "Vance McAllister is nowhere near the shortest-serving lawmaker in congressional history".