Mike McCormack (politician)

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C.G. Mike McCormack is a retired American politician, who served as U.S. Representative from the State of Washington's Fourth Congressional District from 1971-1980. He is a Democrat.

McCormack was born in 1921 at Basil, Ohio (now part of Baltimore, Ohio); his parents were of Scots-Irish and English descent. As a young man he attended schools in Toledo, Ohio, graduating from Waite High School. He began college at the University of Toledo in 1939, worked for two years, and then entered military service in 1943. He attended OCS and was commissioned as second lieutenant, parachute infantry, United States Army, with occupation duty in Germany until 1946, at which time he was discharged as first lieutenant. From 1946 to 1949, he attended Washington State College and received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Physical Chemistry. He worked briefly at the University of Puget Sound, and then spent twenty years as a research chemist with the atomic energy facilities of the Atomic Energy Commission at Hanford, during which time he resided in Richland, Washington.

In 1956 at age 35, McCormack was first elected to a public office as member of the Washington State House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 1958. During this period he sponsored successful legislation to allow automobiles to make right-turns at red lights, which was a novel idea at the time.

In 1960 he was elected to the State Senate, and was re-elected in 1964 and 1968. While serving in the State Senate, McCormack was a member of several important committees, including the Interim Budget Committee and the Joint Committee on Higher Education. He was often associated with public higher education in press coverage. He was a principal author of the legislation that combined and extended the junior colleges of the state into the Community College System during 1967 and 1968.

In 1970 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. His election was an upset victory over five-term Republican Representative Catherine May.

McCormack entered the United States Congress in 1971 as the only Member with a degree in Science, and emerged as an expert on energy matters, a prominent issue during the years of his congressional service. He was a member of the House Science and Technology Committee, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production. He was an author of laws that authorized efforts which included matters such as solar energy, electric cars and fusion power, and his expertise on overall energy issues was acknowledged by Members of Congress of both political parties. He was also involved in an unsuccessful attempt to pass legislation that would have converted the U.S. to the Metric system of measurements. At times, he took positions that were critical of the policies advocated by presidents and administrations of both political parties.

In 1980, during the "Reagan landslide", McCormack's fifth election campaign was unsuccessful. In 1981 his Congressional papers were transferred to the Washington State University Library [1]. He then worked in Washington DC through the 1980s, during which time he was a member of the Space Telescope Institute Council [2], an advisory group of the Space Telescope Science Institute. During the 1990s he lived in Ellensburg, Washington where he created and ran the Institute for Science and Society, which was primarily involved in teaching Science Literacy to K-12 teachers.

In 1999, he received the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award [3], the purpose of which is "To recognize outstanding public service by a member of the American Chemical Society".

He is currently resides in Medford, Oregon with his wife Margaret.

[edit] Elections

Date Position Status Opponent Result Vote share Opponent vote share
1954 WA Representative Challenger Defeated
1956 WA Representative Elected
1958 WA Representative Incumbent Re-elected
1960 WA Senator Elected
1964 WA Senator Incumbent Re-lected
1968 WA Senator Incumbent Re-lected
1970 U.S. Representative Challenger Catherine May (R) Elected 53% 47%
1972 U.S. Representative Incumbent Stewart Bledsoe (R) Re-elected 52% 48%
1974 U.S. Representative Incumbent Floyd Paxton (R) Re-elected 59% 41%
1976 U.S. Representative Incumbent Dick Granger (R) Re-elected 58% 41%
1978 U.S. Representative Incumbent Susan Roylance (R) Re-elected 61% 39%
1980 U.S. Representative Incumbent Sid Morrison (R) Defeated 43% 57%

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Washington State University Library Archives: Mike McCormack Papers, 1959-1994. Retrieved on 2006-05-28.
  2. ^ The Current Space Telescope Institute Council. Retrieved on 2006-05-28.
  3. ^ Charles Lathrop Parsons Award. Retrieved on 2006-05-28.
Preceded by
Catherine May
U.S. Representative from Washington

District 4

1971 – 1980
Succeeded by
Sid Morrison