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Published on Nov 8, 2017
Richard Shelby for US Senate | Campaign Ad | 1986 | Alabama
Richard Craig Shelby (born May 6, 1934) is the senior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected to the Senate in 1986, he is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. He also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Shelby received his law degree from the Birmingham School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1961. After law school in 1963, he went on to serve as city prosecutor (1963–1971). During this period he worked as a U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama (1966–1970) and Special Assistant Attorney General of Alabama (1969–1971). He won a seat in the Alabama Senate in 1970. In 1978, he was elected from the 7th District to the United States House of Representatives, where he was among a group of Conservative Democrats known as the boll weevils.
In 1986, Shelby won a tight race as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate. Partway through his second term, he switched to the Republican Party in 1994, the day after the Republican Revolution in which they gained the majority in Congress in midterm elections midway through President Bill Clinton's first term. Shelby was re-elected by a large margin in 1998 and has faced no significant electoral opposition since. He is currently the dean of the Alabama delegation.