Harry Lee Waterfield

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Harry Lee Waterfield (January 19, 1911 – August 4, 1988), a Democrat, served as the 42nd and 44th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky and unsuccessfully sought election as Governor of Kentucky.

Waterfield was originally from Calloway County, Kentucky. He worked as a newspaper publisher and then was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1938–47 and 1950–51. He was Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives 1944–46. He founded Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company in 1961 and served as its President and Chairman of the Board until his death.

Waterfield twice won election as Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky and held that office in 1955–59 and 1963–67. He was the first person to win election to two terms as Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. He served under Happy Chandler in his first term and under Edward T. Breathitt in his second.

Waterfield became a factional ally of Happy Chandler, though at first they were not friendly to one another politically. In 1947 Waterfield sought election as Governor of Kentucky but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Chandler's factional enemy, Earle C. Clements. Clements was later elected to the United States Senate where he served as Senate Majority Whip when Lyndon Johnson was Senate Majority Leader. Chandler then helped defeat Clements when Clements sought re-election to the Senate. Clements in turn helped his own factional ally, Bert T. Combs, defeat Waterfield, Chandler's handpicked successor, when then-Lt. Governor Waterfield sought election as governor in 1959. Combs defeated Waterfield in the primary and went on to win the office and help secure the election of his own chosen successor, Edward T. Breathitt, in 1963. The factionalism continued, as Breathitt defeated Chandler in the 1963 primary for governor before winning the general election. In 1967 Waterfield again sought the Democratic nomination for governor but lost the primary to Henry Ward, who in turn lost the general election to Louie B. Nunn.

Waterfield was a Kentucky delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1948 and 1956 and helped lead an attempt to secure the Democratic nomination for president for Happy Chandler in 1956.

The primary library at Waterfield's alma mater, Murray State University, is named in his honor.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murray State University - Waterfield Library
Political offices
Preceded by
Emerson Beauchamp
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
1955–1959
Succeeded by
Wilson W. Wyatt
Preceded by
Wilson W. Wyatt
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
1963–1967
Succeeded by
Wendell H. Ford
Party political offices
Preceded by
Emerson Beauchamp
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
1955–1955
Succeeded by
Wilson W. Wyatt
Preceded by
Wilson W. Wyatt
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
1963–1963
Succeeded by
Wendell H. Ford