NPR logo Jerry Waldie Dies; Served On Judiciary Cmte During Watergate

Jerry Waldie Dies; Served On Judiciary Cmte During Watergate

Two buttons for Congressman Jerry Waldie.

Jerome Waldie, a liberal Democrat from California who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment hearings in 1974, died earlier this month at 84.

Waldie, who represented the San Francisco Bay area, was the first member of the committee to call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. His resolution came just days after the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, in October 1973, when Nixon had Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor, fired.

Waldie, the state Assembly majority leader, was elected to Congress in a special 1966 election following the death of incumbent Republican John Baldwin. He had no trouble in four re-election contests, usually winning more than 70 percent of the vote. He was a strong critic of both Nixon and the Vietnam War.

Waldie gave up his seat to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 1974. But the impeachment hearings were taking place during the primary campaign, and while he attracted some attention for his decision to walk the length of the state to meet voters, he never was a factor. He finished a weak fifth in the primary that was won by California Secretary of State Jerry Brown.