Former Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine hopes the result of his 2012 Virginia U.S. Senate campaign turns out differently than how past DNC chairs performed nearly a century ago in the Election of 1916. In Indiana, former DNC Chair Thomas Taggart (1904-1908) ran in a special election for a seat caused by the death of Democrat Benjamin Shively. Taggart had been appointed to the seat in March but lost by less than 10,000 votes to Republican James Watson that November. Taggart lost again to Watson in 1920's rematch by more than 160,000 votes. In New York, DNC Chair William McCombs (1912-1916) was trounced by 15 points in his U.S. Senate race against Republican William Calder. But the 1916 cycle actually saw the state of Indiana run two former party chairs in U.S. Senate contests. An election was also held that November for the Hoosier State's Class I Senate seat featuring former RNC Chair Harry New (1907-1908). However, New bucked the trend of his DNC colleagues and narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent John Kern by less than 12,000 votes.
While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.
Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.
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