From the Vault: Happy Chandler in '87 talks about his legacy, financial philosophy

03/13/2011 07:06 PM

Former Kentucky Governor and U.S. Senator A.B. “Happy” Chandler described one of his lasting legacies as the infrastructure improvements he made to Kentucky’s roads and bridges in the late 1930s and late 1950s.

As it happened, one of those bridges — the one over the Kentucky River in Estill County — was mentioned by some voters in the county last fall as they prepared for the congressional election between Chandler’s grandson, Ben Chandler, and Republican challenger Andy Barr.

Chandler won that race by 648 votes.

Happy Chandler, who was governor from 1935 until becoming U.S. Senator in 1939, served again as governor from 1955 to 1959. He ran again for govenror, this time unsuccessfully in 1971, losing as an independent candidate in a four-way race won by Wendell Ford.

Happy Chandler in 1987 is the subject of the latest “From the Vault” segment, which airs during each Friday edition of Pure Politics:

The elder Chandler passed away in June 1991, just months before his grandson won his first statewide race for auditor.

- Ryan Alessi

(Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Happy Chandler lost the 1971 primary to Wendell Ford. In fact, he lost the 1971 general election because he ran as an independent candidate that year. Also the video piece erroneously states Chandler appointed himself to the U.S. Senate, when in fact, he resigned two months before and was appointed by his replacement, Gov. Keen Johnson.)


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