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First families of the 50 states (continued)

Fixistas far and wide responded to our post last week calling for your ideas on the "first families" in all fifty states -- the political royalty from Alabama to Wyoming.

We're still collecting and sorting through all of the submissions but we still need the dominant political family from the following states: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Oregon.

If you live in one of those states or happen to have specific knowledge of who rules the political roost in one (or more), sound off in the comments section below.

Once we have all 50 states, we'll publish out a full list!

And, in case you are wondering what we are looking for, here are a few examples.

California: The Browns (Pat, Kathleen and Jerry)
Massachusetts: The Kennedys (Jack, Bobby, Ted, Joe Jr.)
Minnesota: The Humphreys (Hubert, Muriel, Skip)
New Jersey: The Frelinghuysens (Theodore, Frederick and Rodney)

By The Fix  |  July 26, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , House , Senate  
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A rather disturbingly lighthearted reminder that in "egalitarian" America, political power is still too often a family business.

We fought a revolution to be free of "ruling families."

Posted by: kcx7 | July 27, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

In Hawaii, we've got quite few families, some of them descendants of the original monarchy (and almost all of them dems).

The Kawananakoa family: Quentin K is a former state rep who ran for congress in 06 and lost in the primary, and is also an heir to the deposed throne of Hawaii (native Hawaiians call him Prince)

The other family is the Andersons, whose youngest, Ikaika Anderson, is a Honolulu City Councilman. His father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all involved in state politics in the State Legislature

Posted by: 808dem | July 27, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The Whites would be a good choice for Idaho and represent both sides of the political aisle. As posted above, Compton I. White and his son of the same name served as Democrats in Congress for a combined 20 years. More recently, their grandson was the campaign manager for Senator Crapo in 2004 and Senator Risch in 2008 and has been heavily involved in Republican politics around the state for over 10 years. Other good choices would be the Smiley's or the Little's, both successful father-son politicos in the state.

Posted by: ryanw78 | July 27, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Ohio is, sadly, Taft country.

Posted by: randishlego | July 27, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

For North Dakota:

First Choice: The Burdick family (U.S. Senator Quentin served 1959-92 (house first two years), wife Jocelyn was temporarily appointed after his death. His father Usher preceded him as congressman from 1935-1945 and 1949-1959, also Lt. Gov of ND 1911-1912. Other family members have a long history of public service.

Second/Third choice: The Art Link (governor) family and the Bill Guy (governor) family. There are documentaries available now that tell of their careers. Both were instrumental on the federal, state, and local levels.

Posted by: Kay9 | July 27, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

For Montana: the Sieben/Baucus/Hibbard family.

Posted by: acasilaco | July 27, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

For Texas, the Hobby Family. Gov. William P. Hobby was Lt. Gov, then Gov. His wife Oveta Culp Hobby was the nation's first HEW Secretary. His son is former Lt. William P. Hobby, Jr. And his grandson, Paul Hobby, ran for Comptroller of Public Accounts in 2002 and is likely to seek office in the future.

There's also the Bushs and the Gonzales, but those only involve two so far.

Posted by: cbjornson | July 27, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Colorado has three, all of varying degrees of influence: the Salazars (Ken and John), the Udalls (Mark and Tom in NM), and the Coors (Pete and others who have always been politically active).

Posted by: senator_larry | July 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Alabama, while moving away from them, would have to be the Wallace family. George was governor for two terms, ran for President, his wife Lurleen, served as Governor when George was term limited, then he came back (with significant african american support - go figure). His son has run for numerous offices in the state as well - elected as state Treasurer, losing for Congress and Lt. Gov, (twice), served on the State Public Service Commission and this year lost in the primary when trying to be Treasurer again.

You should also include the Folsom family. Big Jim and little Jim. Big Jim served a couple of terms as Governor and his son, Little Jim, has served multiple terms as Lt. Governor and as Governor. Amusingly, one of the unofficial slogans of Big Jim's campaign, because corruption was so obvious, was, "Something for everyone and a little bit for Big Jim."

Posted by: StirringthePot | July 27, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

no doubt you will selecte the thurmonds from sc despite ol strom's son pauls recent loss in a gop congressional primary to tim scott who will become the black gop congressman after a rubber stamp general election.

Posted by: george32 | July 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

From the great state of Wisconsin, it has to be the La Follettes: "Fighting Bob" (congressman, governor, senator), his son Bob, Jr. (senator) and other son Philip (governor). Also grandson Bronson La Follette was state attorney general in the 1980s. Wisconsin's current Secretary of State is Doug La Follette, though he's a more distant cousin of the La Follette dynasty.

Posted by: MildredMachiavelli | July 27, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Jean Carnahan was appointed to the Senate after the death of her husband Mel in 2000.

Posted by: rogden71 | July 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Missouri has two political first families.
The Carnahans:
A.S.J. -Congressman and first U.S. ambassador to Sierre Leone
Mel- Lt. Governor, Governor, and was elected to U.S. Senate after his death
Russ- Congressman
Robin- Secreatry of State and is running for U.S. Senate this year.
The Blunts:
Roy- Secreatry of State and Congressman who is running for U.S. Senate this fall.
Matt- Governor

Posted by: rogden71 | July 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

More recent family in Louisiana than the Longs would be the Landrieus--Father Moon was Mayor of New Orleans, as is son Mitch; daughter Mary is US Senator

Posted by: fossettj | July 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

You can say Missouri is bipartisan when it comes to political "first families". On the Democratic side is the Carnahan, A.S.J. who was a Congressman and the first U.S. ambassador to Sierre Leone (Social Science building at Southeast Missouri State University is named after him). His son Mel was Lt. Governor and Governor of Missouri and was elected U.S. Senator after his death. Robin is running for the U.S. Senate and is the Secretary of State.
On the GOP side is the Blunt family. Roy has been a Secretary of State and Congressman and is now running for the U.S. Senate against Robin Carnahan. Roy's son was governor of Missouri from 2004-2008.

Posted by: rogden71 | July 27, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Republican Elmo Smith served in the Oregon Legislature, as president of Oregon Senate and as governor of Oregon from 1956-1957, and was later an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate a few times. His son, Denny Smith, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon's 5th District from 1981-1991 (having defeated the powerful chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Democrat Al Ullman, in 1980) and was the Republican nominee for governor of Oregon in 1994.

Democrat Richard Neuberger represented Oregon in the U.S. Senate from 1955 until his death in 1960. He was succeeded by his wife, Maurine Neuberger, who was also a politically active and well known individual, from 1960-1967.

Republicans Jim, Stan and Tom Bunn, all brothers, all served in the Oregon Legislature at the exact same time in the early 90s. Jim later served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-1997. Stan Bunn was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress but later served as Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1999-2003.

Ex-Senator Gordon Smith is related to the famous Udall political dynasty by marriage. His cousins a few times removed, Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico, currently served in the U.S. Senate.

Democrat Barbara Roberts is a former governor of Oregon, 1991-1995. Her late husband, Frank, was also a longtime politician in Oregon. She is related (I forget how) to Betty Roberts, a longtime fixture of the Oregon Legislature back in the 60s and 70s, former chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and candidate for U.S. Senate in 1974. Another relative, Mary Wendy Roberts, served as state Labor Commissioner for several terms up until 1995.

Posted by: brent79 | July 27, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Daleys would be the family for Chicago, but for the entirety of Illinois, I'd have to go with the Stevensons. Adlai II, governor, presidential candidate and ambassador; Adlai III, senator. (Often overlooked, Adlai I was Vice President under Cleveland!)

Posted by: daves1 | July 27, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here's part of Ted Mondale's wikipedia entry:

"After serving in the Minnesota State Senate, in 1998 Ted Mondale sought the Democratic primary nomination for Minnesota governor. Coincidentally, the race included three other candidates from families famously connected in Minnesota politics: Skip Humphrey, the son of Vice President Hubert Humphrey (then Attorney General); Mark Dayton of the Dayton Department Store dynasty (then State Auditor); and Mike Freeman, son of former governor Orville Freeman (then Hennepin County, Minnesota district attorney). Mondale, more fiscally moderate than the other candidates and who had distanced himself from labor, did not prevail in the primary."

Enough to argue for a 'first family'? Perhaps, or perhaps not. If so, you could arguably include the Freemans as well. That epic 1998 Gov's race is the one that sent Jesse Ventura to the Gov's mansion, over Humphrey and eventual Sentor Norm Coleman (R).

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 27, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The Kansas family would be Alf Landon, a Kansas governor who ran for President against FDR in 1936 and his daughter Nancy Landon Kassebaum, who was a senator and ended up marrying former Senator and WH Chief of Staff Howard Baker.

Posted by: rabbitt_hutch | July 27, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania has the Caseys.

Posted by: kjaj | July 27, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Florida: Chiles, Bush (kind of), Castor

Posted by: F4poet99 | July 27, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Moe, Curly, Shemp, and Larry Howard.

The Howards.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 27, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Iowa-the culvers, the current governor chet and former senator john or the grassleys, chuck and grandson pat who's a state legislator and mentioned as a candidate for higher office in the future.

Posted by: justinerickson | July 27, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Iowa-the culvers, the current governor chet and former senator john or the grassleys, chuck and grandson pat who's a state legislator and mentioned as a candidate for higher office in the future.

Posted by: justinerickson | July 27, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

John Wilkes Booth was in a famous family


The Roosevelts were big in New York -

Cuomo obviously - will have the second Governor


New Jersey had the Todd family (which maybe was related to Mary Todd Lincoln - not sure)


Huey Long THE KINGFISH in Louisiana - his brother Earl became Governor for three terms

Huey Long's son was Russell Long - a Senator

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 26, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to forget the Bush family

Two Presidents - and two brothers who were brothers of two of the four largest states in the country Texas and Florida.

The whole thing started in Connecticut - when their grandfather became Senator -

The younger Barbara Bush will probably go into politics


Did someone write down the Dodds in Connecticut


Did someone write down the Adams in Massachusetts - John, son and cousin Sam

Probably the first first family


Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 26, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse


Isn't Olympia Dukackis the aunt of George Clooney?

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 26, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Colorado -- The Romers. Roy and Chris.
Virginia hasn't had a true first family since the Byrds, which have really been gone for two decades. Mark Warner is king in Virginia so that should give him the current title. But if you want to go with a family with multiple electeds, try the Obenshains. The original, Richard Obenshain, built the GOP in Va at a time when the Byrd machine was so powerful that only a few seats in either chamber of the statehouse were claimed by Republicans. Son Mark now serves in the state Senate, daughter Kate was state party chair.
Still, if you go to Southside, the Abbitt family has been serving in public office for half a century.

Posted by: tpscanlon | July 26, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

New York - The Cuomos, the Rockefellers, and of course, the Clintons _ Bill, Hillary, and DeWitt.

Posted by: fridrikr1 | July 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Oregon is not known for dynastic politics. There are, however, some political families that deserve consideration.

The Wheelers. An important timber family long active in civic life -- they even have a county named after them. The family's scion, Ted Wheeler, a Stanford, Columbia, Harvard-educated rising star in OR politics, is the odds-on favorite to be elected State Treasurer in the fall.

The Smiths. Jefferson Smith, the founder of the grassroots Bus Project, is a State Representative, like his father. Jefferson Smith is often touted as a future gubernatorial candidate.

Posted by: PDXOwl | July 26, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

For Idaho, I don't think the state really has a "first family." The state definitely doesn't currently have a family that fits the bill, and the only one in the past that might is the White family (Compton White, Sr., and Compton White, Jr.). But nobody has heard of the Whites since the 1960s, and they were from north Idaho, and so they only ever served the northern part of the state. A good portion of Idaho never really knew much of the Whites, and only old-timers today would really know who they are. When Idaho was reapportioned, the new district lines swept White, Jr., out in a landslide. The rest of the state is more right-leaning, and so the Whites (Democrats) never really fit into Idaho politics very well outside of their local northern constituency.

Idaho really isn't that given to dynasties and whatnot, or even to highly powerful personalities. Frank Church is probably the most important politician from the state, but he never established a dynasty. J.R. Simplot probably shaped the state more than any other single person in the last 100 years, but he never really ventured into politics himself, although his former son-in-law, Butch Otter, is now governor.

Posted by: blert | July 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Oregon is short on political dynasties, but some contenders are the Neubergers (Richard & Maurine, both state legislators and US Senators), and the Robertses (former Governor Barbara and former State Senator Frank),

Oddly enough, former US Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) is a cousin to Morris & Stewart Udall.

Posted by: rah1962 | July 26, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm from North Dakota. Among the best dynasty choices are:

Burdick's (U.S. Senator Quentin served 1959-92 (house first two years), wife Jocelyn was temporarily appointed after his death. His father Usher preceded him as congressman from 1935-1945 and 1949-1959, also Lt. Gov of ND 1911-1912.

Schaefer's (Governor Ed, dad was family businessman).

Conrad's (Current U.S. senator. His first wife was Ed Schaefer's sister). That would've been interesting Thanksgiving dinner but alas they have since divorced.

Heitkamp's (more on the state level than federal)

Posted by: swgminer | July 26, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I concur...the Daleys in Chicago.... but does that mean the whole state.

There was Dirksen.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 26, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to add: the Chiles family in Florida.

Posted by: mnteng | July 26, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Illinois has too many to choose from. I'd go with the Daleys, who have been Mayor of Chicago since the Dark Ages (with Jane Byrne and Harold Washington in between). But the Adlai Stevensons and the Madigans wouldn't be bad choices either.

Posted by: mnteng | July 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Tennessee - the Gores of course

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Arizona....gee, I don't know if any are alive....Udall is a good one...but I gotta go with -

The Goldwaters.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 26, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou wrote,
'Co Republican Ken Buck: "The Tea Party are Dumbas*es" . . .'

(eliminated the rest of the gibberish)


This is called spamming. In how many threads have you posted this? It will remain gibberish no matter how many times you repeat the post.

Posted by: Brigade | July 26, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

kejones4: dont' forget about Jake Ford.

Posted by: COSDem | July 26, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

jofij, don't forget the Schusters -- Bud and Bill.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 26, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Tennessee - The Fords

You've got Harold Ford Sr. and Jr., obviously, both of whom represented Memphis in Congress for a total of 32 years. But Harold, Sr.'s brother, John, also served in the state senate and the Memphis city council; Emmitt Ford took Sr.'s old job in the state house; James Ford was on the Memphis city council and the Shelby County Commission; Ophelia Ford is also in the state house; and Joe Ford served as mayor of Memphis. They're all siblings. Edmund, of the next generation, is (or was, I'm not super current on all this) on the city council.

Posted by: kejones4 | July 26, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Co Republican Ken Buck: "The Tea Party are Dumbas*es"

"Will you tell those dumbas*es at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I'm on the camera," Buck said to the worker while laughing. "God, what am I supposed to do?"

Every Republican candidate this cycle is a Rand Paul, Sharon Angle, Marco Rubio type, one idiotic sentence away from their own special little "Gotcha" moment.

You betcha.

The GOP plan

-Sit on backside
-Protect Big Business
-Tax cuts for rich plutocrats
-Create bigger deficits
-Use deficits as excuse to decimiate and privitize the social safety net
-Obama's waterloo


Posted by: DrainYou | July 26, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Yet more Kansas: the Dockings--George, Robert, Tom and Jill

Posted by: woodtp | July 26, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Washington: I vote for the Dunn's/Gorton's. Yes Jennifer Dunn was a great Congresswoman and her son is a great County Councilmember who could go far politicaly. But what most people forget is that Jennifer Dunn's mother was Helen Gorton, and was a distant cousin to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton.

Posted by: caseyb0921 | July 26, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Another possibility for Kansas: the Landons (Alf, Nancy Kassebaum, Bill Kassebaum).

Posted by: Frank78 | July 26, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania -- that's easy, its the Caseys.

Posted by: jofij | July 26, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of very many "dynasties" for Hawaii-- a relative young state (1959): Jack Burns was the second Gov and his son Jim was chief judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals; John D. Waihee III was Gov and his son John D. Waihee IV is an elected Trustee of the office of Hawaiian Affairs (his daughter Dawn ran for the State House but lost a primary); House Finance Committee chair Marcus Oshiro is the son of the late operative Bob Oshiro (who from statehood in 1959 to 1990 ran successful gubernatorial races for Burns, George Ariyoshi and John Waihee). There are legislative dynasties in Dwight Takamine on the Big Island; the Kawakamis on Kauai (a House Speaker, a longtime State Rep. in his widow Bertha and a nephew Roland Sagum currently in the legislature; the Takitanis on Maui (Hank in the State Senate, Tony in the State House and as a political kingmaker); the late Spark Matsunaga in the U.S. Congress and his son Matt Matsunaga in the State legislature). Late U.S. Rep. and Lt. Gov. Tom Gill had son Gary Gill on the Honolulu City Council and his other children have been active in the local bar and unions. Nothing like the Kennedys-- perhaps among the GOP you could say the Kawananakoas (besides being one of the lines claiming the Hawaiian throne, Prince Kuhio was a delegate to Congress; his brother David founded the local Democratic Party; and a great grand nephew Quentin served in the legislature).

Posted by: NikkiHeat | July 26, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Kansas: The Sebeliuses (Gary, Keith, and Kathleen)

Arizona: The Udalls (David, Mo, Nick, Stewart)

Hawaii: The Waihees (John, Jennifer)

Nebraska: The Weavers (Archibald, Arthur, Arthur Jr., Phillip)

Oregon: The Smiths (Gordon, and Milan)

Maine: The Snowes/McKernans (Olympia, John)

Idaho: The Whites (Compton, Compton Jr.)

Posted by: pinwizard39 | July 26, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

In Ohio it would be the Taft Family, but after the most recent Taft governorship, the family brand is a bit tainted.

Posted by: CBUS813 | July 26, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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