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Independent Democrat is a term occasionally adopted by members of the United States Congress to refer to their party affiliation.

The first Independent Democrat in the United States House of Representatives was Zadok Casey in the mid-19th century. Casey was a Jacksonian Democrat before becoming an Independent.

In 1848, a candidate for Mayor of Chicago, James Hutchinson Woodworth, labelled himself an Independent Democrat to distance himself from what was at the time a corrupt and disorganized Chicago Democratic party organization; he preferred being described as an Independent Democrat rather than as a Whig as that party was itself experiencing a transition. He won election in his first campaign by an overwhelming majority and then was re-elected for a second term. However his Mayoral political success sealed his departure from any further association with the then Illinois Democratic party. When the Whigs in Illinois became the new Republican party, and he was able to confirm that his Abolitionist ideals would be recognized, he registered as a member of the GOP. He subsequently was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Illinois as a member of the GOP. Woodworth served one term in Congress, and return to a banking career in Chicago that spanned the Civil War era and the Reconstruction.

Strom Thurmond of South Carolinamarker was elected to the United States Senate in 1954 and served as an Independent Democrat in the 84th Congress until his resignation on April 4, 1956. In November of that year he was elected as a Democrat to fill the vacancy created by his resignation. Thurmond later became a member of the Republican Party in 1964.

Harry F. Byrd, Jr., a senator from Virginiamarker, left the Democratic Party in 1970. He continued to caucus with the Democrats and referred to himself as an Independent Democrat.

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticutmarker served as a Democrat but was defeated for the Democratic nomination in the 2006 primary by businessman Ned Lamont by a 52%-48% margin. Lieberman decided to run as a third party candidate in the general election and won under the self-created Connecticut for Lieberman party, defeating Lamont – the official Democratic candidate – and the Republican candidate with 50 percent of the vote. Lieberman decided to caucus with the Democrats in the 110th United States Congress, referring to himself as "an Independent Democrat, capital I, capital D," in an interview with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press a week following the midterm elections, thus assuring Senate Democrats that they would hold the 51-49 majority they won in that year's elections.

Lieberman is officially listed as an "Independent Democrat" in U.S. Senate records for the 111th Congress. This is distinct from Bernie Sanders of Vermontmarker, who is officially listed as an Independent (not an "Independent Democrat"), but also caucuses with the Democrats.

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