Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Birthday greetings go to Tom Downey, the youngest of the so-called "Watergate Babies" - the freshmen (and women) elected to Congress in the immediate aftermath of Watergate. He is Sixty Five today. He had only been eligible to be elected to the House for nine months when he won the seat for the second district of New York. (Just two years previously the long serving Republican, James Gover had won with 66% of the vote - and Nixon won 72% of the district's votes!).
The term "Watergate Babies" is certainly no longer appropriate now - and wasn't then. Many had previous elected experience - Downey himself had been a member of the Suffolk County, [New York] legislature since 1971. Joseph Fisher (VA10) was sixty, and almost a third had been born in the 1920s or before.
As previous posts have noted - this year is the 40th anniversary of the 1974 landslide election.
Downey was a law student when first elected. He served in Congress until 1993 (18 years - 9 Congresses). He then founded a lobbying group, the Downey-McGrath Group, of which he is Chairman.