Thomas H. Werdel
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Thomas H. Werdel
Thomas Werdel
Thomas H. Werdel (California Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 10th district

January 3, 1949 - January 3, 1953
Alfred J. Elliott
Charles Gubser
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 39th district

January 3, 1943 - January 3, 1947
Rodney L. Turner[1]
W. E. James[2]
Personal details
Born
Thomas Harold Werdel

(1905-09-13)September 13, 1905
Emery, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 1966(1966-09-30) (aged 61)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rosemary Cutter
Children3
Alma materUniversity of California at Berkeley
UC Berkeley School of Law

Thomas Harold Werdel (September 13, 1905 - September 30, 1966) was an American politician and lawyer who served as an assembly member and U.S. Representative from California.

Werdel was staunchly conservative and supported Senator Robert Taft's 1952 presidential bid and later served as T. Coleman Andrews vice presidential running mate.

Life

Werdel was born in Emery, Hanson County, South Dakota, the son of Mary Laura Burke and Bernard Werdel.[3] In 1912 Werdel moved with his parents to California and three years later in 1915 they settled in Kern County, California.[4] He attended the public schools and Kern County Union High School. He was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1930 and from the UC Berkeley School of Law in 1936. He was admitted to the bar in 1936 and commenced the practice of law in Bakersfield, California.

State Assembly

On June 24, 1942 he announced his candidacy for the thirty-ninth assembly district and won both the Democratic and Republican nominations leading him to run unopposed in the general election.[5][6] Shortly before the election he was selected as Kern county's delegate to the California Republican state convention.[7] After taking office Werdel was appointed as chairman of the judiciary committee and also aappointed as a member of the conservation, natural resources and planning, roads and highways, government efficiency and economy, and elections and reapportionment committees.[8] The first legislation he proposed in the state assembly was a resolution requesting the federal government to grant funds to help in the construction of the Madera and Friant-Kern canals.[9] Following the riot on Hollywood Black Friday in 1945 he served on a committee investigation into the union and accused them of being guilty of conspiracy.[10] Werdel submitted a resolution to condemn Attorney General Robert W. Kenny that accused him of being an associate of subversive communist groups, but was overwhelming rejected by a vote of 57 to 19 in the assembly.[11] In 1946 he announced that he would not seek reelection and that he would not run for state senate as he was quitting state politics.[12] After leaving office he was appointed to the citizens advisory committee to committee on legislative constitutional revision in 1947.[13]

House of Representatives

In March 1948 he announced his intention to run for California's tenth congressional district seat and filed to run in both the Democratic and Republican primaries where he easily won the Republican primary and narrowly won the Democratic primary.[14][15] During the campaign Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Earl Warren showed support for Werdel.[16] In the general election he was elected to the United States House of Representatives after easily defeating the Progressive nominee; he was one of the four Republican gains that year, and would serve in the Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses from 1949 to 1953.[17][18]

In 1949 he accused union leaders, specifically from the National Education Association, AFL and CIO, of plotting to use an education aid bill created by Democrats to defeat Senator Robert A. Taft in Ohio's 1950 Senate election.[19] During the 1952 Republican primaries Werdel announced that he would run a slate of seventy delegates in the California primary to lead a pro-Taft delegation to the Republican National Convention rather than a pro-Warren one and he attacked Warren for supporting socialized medicine.[20] However, Governor Earl Warren, a favorite son candidate, once again controlled California's votes.

Later Life

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952 to the Eighty-third Congress. He resumed the practice of law. In 1956, he was the running mate of T. Coleman Andrews as Vice Presidential candidate as an independent with multiple party labels. They won 107,929 votes (0.17%), doing best in Virginia, where they won 6.16% of the vote.[21] During the 1960 and 1964 presidential elections he served as a campaign adviser to Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater.[22]

On September 30, 1966 he died in Bakersfield, California and was survived by his wife and three sons. He was interred in Greenlawn Memorial Park.[23]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Assembly Race". The Bakersfield Californian. 24 August 1947. p. 1. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "Committes Hear James' Measures; Opposition Seen". The Bakersfield Californian. 12 April 1947. p. 7. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Thomas Werdel Announces State Assembly Candidacy". The Bakersfield Californian. 24 June 1942. p. 13. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Werdel Wins in Assembly". The Bakersfield Californian. 27 August 1942. p. 13. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "1942 Assembly Primary". The Bakersfield Californian. 8 September 1942. p. 7. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Party Leaders Off To Capital". The Bakersfield Californian. 17 September 1942. p. 21. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Werdel Named To Head Group". The Bakersfield Californian. 5 January 1943. p. 4. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Federal Funds for Friant-Kern Asked". The San Francisco Examiner. 7 January 1943. p. 15. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Federal Funds for Friant-Kern Asked". The Bakersfield Californian. 30 November 1945. p. 11. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Assembly Rejects Bitter Political Attack on Kenny". The Press Democrat. 20 February 1946. p. 1. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Werdel to Quit State Politics". The Bakersfield Californian. 13 February 1946. p. 9. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Werdel Named to Constitution Revision Group". The Bakersfield Californian. 20 October 1947. p. 11. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Thomas H. Werdel Throws hat in Ring for Congressional Seat". The Bakersfield Californian. 8 March 1948. p. 13. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Werdel Leads Both Tickets in Kern County". The Los Angeles Times. 2 June 1948. p. 26. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Warren Declares Unity Is Issue In Campaign". The Bakersfield Californian. 29 October 1948. p. 2. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "California Solon To Address GOP Political School". The Bakersfield Californian. 5 April 1950. p. 31. Archived from the original on 20 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "The New Congress". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 9 December 1948. p. 8. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Charges Plot Against Taft". The Akron Beacon Journal. 23 August 1949. p. 31. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Warren Faces Double Threat In California". Chicago Tribune. 29 March 1952. p. 4. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "New Record City, County Vote Looms". Kenosha News. 3 November 1956. p. 1. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "T. Werdel Dies, Ex-Congressman". Hartford Courant. 3 October 1966. p. 4. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "New Record City, County Vote Looms". The San Francisco Examiner. 2 October 1966. p. 62. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019 – via Newspapers.com.

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