Add Percy Sutton To The List Of The 2009 Departed

Governor Hearnes & Percy E. Sutton

Sutton was the first serious black candidate for mayor of NYC; Hearnes was a longtime political power in Missouri. hide caption

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When we snuck out of Dodge right before the Christmas break, one of the highlights (if that's the right word) of the Political Junkie blog was our comprehensive list of those in the political world who passed on in 2009.

Here are some who have subsequently died during our week away from publishing, or whose death was only recently reported:

Carol Ann Vander Jagt, 73, the widow of Rep. Guy Vander Jagt (R-MI) who managed his campaigns for Congress (starting in 1966) and who co-chaired the national voter registration drive for President Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign. (Dec. 19)

Percy Sutton, 89, one of the leading and earliest black political power brokers in New York, who was the attorney for Malcolm X, and who later was elected borough president of Manhattan, in 1966 (re-elected twice), and ran for mayor of NYC in the 1977 Democratic primary. (Dec. 26)

David Levine, 83, the preeminent political caricaturist for The New York Review of Books for nearly a half century; a personal favorite of mine was his image of President Lyndon Johnson lifting up his shirt to show the scar from his gallbladder operation — which he actually did — but in this case the scar was in the shape of Vietnam. (Dec. 29)

In addition, John Hiestand of Hillsboro, Ohio — as he has in previous years — sent in a list of other pols we missed. John's list and the three names above will be added to my Dec. 22 posting for the archives. Here's John's list:

Thomas Gill, 87, who served one term as a Democratic member of Congress from Hawaii (1963-64) who gave up his seat in 1964 to run, unsuccessfully, for the Senate against GOP incumbent Hiram Fong, and who twice sought his party's nomination for governor, losing to Gov. John Burns in 1970 (when he was Burns' lt. gov) and George Ariyoshi in 1974. (June 3)

Frank Harrison, 69, a Pennsylvania Democrat who defeated freshman Rep. James Nelligan (R) in 1982 only to lose his bid for a second term two years later when he was beaten in the Democratic primary by Paul Kanjorski, who still serves. (June 3)

Warren Hearnes, 86, the first Missouri governor to win consecutive terms (1964 & '68), during which time he increased state spending on education and mental health. His name was suggested as a potential running mate for Bobby Kennedy during the 1968 presidential election. Heanes also ran for the Senate in 1976, losing the Democratic primary. But he became his party's nominee when Rep. Jerry Litton died in a plane crash on primary night. Hearnes went on to lose in November to Republican John Danforth. Two years later, he ran, and lost, for state auditor. (Aug. 16)

William Avery, 98, a Kansas Republican who ousted Rep. Howard Miller (D) in 1954 to begin a ten-year career in the House, and who left Washington in '64 to win election as governor — only to be ousted two years later by Democrat Robert Docking. In 1968 he sought office once more, but was beaten in the GOP primary for an open Senate seat by Bob Dole. (Nov. 4)

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