Remembering Chattanooga’s Republican groundbreaker, Bill Brock

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Bill Brock, a former Tennessee senator and Republican chairman who rebuilt the party after the Watergate scandal, has died.

A family friend says he passed away this morning.

Brock was a Chattanooga native who graduated the McCallie School and Washington and Lee University.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962 and the Senate in 1970.

Brock later served in the Reagan administration as U.S. trade representative and then labor secretary.

Bill Brock was 90 years old.

Career Highlights:

— worked in family business of Brock Candy Company in Chattanooga (later merging with Brach)

— 1962, he won 3rd District Congressional seat, ending 40 year run for Democrats

— 1970, he surprise many by defeating popular Democratic Senator Al Gore, Sr., again ending Democratic dominance of the seat

— wrote budget laws, including law assuring credit to married women.  At the time, financial instutitutions often gave credit cards to only husbands.

— 1976, lost re-election in the post Watergate backlash & Jimmy Carter emergence.

— 1977, became chairman of the National Republican Party, leading the party back from the Watergate disaster

— 1980, became a trade representative and later Secretary of Labor for President Reagan

— 1994, his political comeback ultimately failed, after he won the Senate Republican nomination in his new home of Maryland, but lost the general election to an incumbent.

(Brock was one of the two Republican members of the administration with Chattanooga ties who joined him for a trip here in 1987)


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News, Regional News

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