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Standish Fletcher Thompson (born February 5, 1925) is an American lawyer and politician who served as a representative in Congress for the 5th Congressional District of Georgiamarker.

Early life

Thompson was born in College Parkmarker in Fulton County, Georgiamarker. He went to public schools, followed by Russell High School in East Pointmarker. In 1943 he served in the United States Army Medical Corps, transferring the next year to the United States Army Air Corps where he was a navigator with the Air Rescue Service. On demobilization he attended Emory Universitymarker from which he graduated in 1949. During the Korean War, Thompson re-enlisted in the United States Air Force as a pilot.

Professional life

On returning from Korea, Thompson went to the now defunct Woodrow Wilson College of Law from which he graduated in 1957. The following year he was admitted to the Georgia bar and set up a law firm in East Point. He was also president of an insurance firm.

Politics

In November 1964 Fletcher Thompson, a life-long Republican, defeated the then Senior Democrat Georgia State Senator Charlie Brown and was elected to the Georgia State Senate from the thirty-fourth senatorial district. Thompson was one of only four Republican members of the State Senate. He was selected by the Democratic majority to represent Fulton County in the drafting of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) act, and was cosponsor of that act.

Two years later Thompson became the first Republican since reconstruction to represent Atlanta and the 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.

On October 3, 1966, about a month before the November general election the then Congressman Charles Weltner,a Democrat, after months of campaigning for reelection, withdrew from the race. Weltner gave as his reason for quitting that he could not pledge to support Lester Maddox, a segregationist, and the Democrat candidate for Governor. The Democrat Executive Committee then chose Archie Lindsey, Chairman of the Fulton County Commission, to take Charles Weltner’s place. Lindsey had only three weeks to mount a campaign. Thompson received about thirty per cent of the black vote and easily won the election.

Thompson was re-elected in 1968, by defeating Charles Weltner. He was again reelected in 1970. by defeating Democrat Andrew Young.

During his various campaigns, Thompson campaigned not only in majority white districts, but also in majority black districts. He also was the principal speaker at the annual convention of The United States Postal Alliance, a union of African-American Post Office employees.

Thompson's success in being elected in a traditionally Democratic district that was by then 40% non-white was noted in Time magazine.

Time magazine described him as an "unreconstructed conservative who opposes busing, liberal judges, Jane Fonda in Hanoi, Black Power and gun controls". In line with this Fletcher Thompson helped create a rift between the Black community and Black Panther Party in Atlanta. Thompson was quoted by journalist J. Lowell Ware( September 18, 1971) "the Black Panthers should stay in California," "neither they nor their philosophy are welcome in Atlanta."

Thompson was editorially endorsed by C. A. Scott owner of the Atlanta Daily World, the only daily African-American newspaper in Georgia. He was the first member of Congress from Georgia to ever appoint an African-Americans to West Point and the other service academies’ He also was the first 5th District Congressman to employ an African-American in his 5th District Congressional office in Atlanta.

In 1972, Thompson ran for the U.S. Senate; he won the Republican primary with little opposition. Sam Nunn defeated David Gambrell in the Democratic primary When President Richard Nixon, a Republican, visited Atlanta a month before the General election he did not endorse Thompson. Governor Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, took note of this fact and stated President Nixon would just as soon have Sam Nunn in the United States Senate as Thompson. Sam Nunn, a Democrat, endorsed President Richard Nixon, a Republican over George McGovern a Democrat. Nixon /Nunn signs were posted all over Georgia. In the general election, Nunn defeated Thompson and went on to become one of the most influential Senators in the United States Senate.

Post-political career

After leaving Congress, Thompson went back to his law firm in Atlanta. In 1985 he was made a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Thompson lives in Marietta, Georgiamarker.

References



 Retrieved on 2008-01-24


External links

 Retrieved on 2008-01-24



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