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Edgar Herschler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edgar Herschler
Edgar Herschler signed photo.jpg
28th Governor of Wyoming
In office
January 6, 1975 – January 5, 1987
Preceded byStanley K. Hathaway
Succeeded byMike Sullivan
Member of the
Wyoming House of Representatives
In office
1961 – July 12, 1961
In office
1963–1971
Personal details
Born
Edgar Jacob Herschler

(1918-10-27)October 27, 1918
Kemmerer, Wyoming, U.S.
DiedFebruary 5, 1990(1990-02-05) (aged 71)
Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.
Resting placeKemmerer Cemetery. Kemmerer, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kathleen Sue Colter
Children2
MotherCharlotte Jenkins
FatherEdgar Fuller Herschler
Alma materUniversity of Colorado (BA)
University of Wyoming (LL.B)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsSilver Star[1]

Edgar Jacob Herschler (October 27, 1918 – February 5, 1990) was an American politician and attorney who served as the 28th Governor of Wyoming from 1975 to 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the longest-serving Governor of Wyoming with three full terms; since a two-term limit for governors was approved by a ballot initiative in 1992, he has remained as such.

Early life

The Herschler family ranch in 1912
The Herschler family ranch in 1912

Edgar Jacob Herschler was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming on October 27, 1918 to Edgar Fuller Herschler and Charlotte Jenkins. During his childhood, he was initially taught at his family's ranch before later attended high school in Kemmerer.[2] In 1941, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law.[3] In 1949, he earned his LL.B from the University of Wyoming. Herschler served in the Pacific Theater during World War II.[4]

He served as Kemmerer's city attorney and then as Lincoln County attorney from 1951 to 1958 and from 1961 to 1963.[5]

Career

Legislature

On June 15, 1960 he filed to run for the Democratic nomination for one of Lincoln County's three seats in the Wyoming House of Representatives and won in the general election.[6] Upon taking office he introduced a bill that would repeal Wyoming's inheritance tax.[7] However, after the initial forty day session of the house he resigned on March 10, 1961 to become Lincoln County's attorney again, but filed to run for the house again in 1962 and won a seat in the general election placing second.[8][9] In the 1964 elections the Democrats took control of the state house and in the 1965 legislative session Herschler was selected as House Majority Whip and made chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.[10][11] In 1967 he cosponsored the first air pollution control bill in Wyoming and on September 13, 1968 he was elected as president of the Wyoming State Bar Association.[12]

He was considered a possible candidate for governor in the 1970 election, but stated on December 10, 1969 that he was not interested in running for governor.[13] On April 27, 1970 he announced that he would run for the Democratic nomination for Wyoming's at-large congressional district, but was defeated by former Representative Teno Roncalio who went on to win in the general election. On October 27 he endorsed Roncalio following his defeat in the August primary.[14][15] In 1971 he stated that he was contact by Governor Stanley K. Hathaway as being a possible appointment to the Wyoming Supreme Court, but was not selected.[16]

Governor

On May 23, 1974 he announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for governor and defeated former state senator Dick Jones in the general election.[17] He was critical of President Jimmy Carter for his agricultural stances and water projects and when Carter visited Grand Teton National Park from August 24 to September 1, 1978 he had Herschler notified that he was not invited.[18]

In 1978 he narrowly won reelection by 2,377 votes, but easily won reelection to a third term in 1982 becoming Wyoming's only governor to serve more than two terms. In 1986 he announced that he would not seek reelection to a fourth term.

Governor Herschler being presented a hat and saber, June 1977
Governor Herschler being presented a hat and saber, June 1977

In September 1981 Cody, Wyoming hosted the Western Governors Association's annual conference of that year and Herschler was selected as president of the Western Conference to serve a one year term from 1981 to 1982.[19][20]

In 1985, he commuted the sentences and ordered the releases of Deborah and Richard Janhke, Jr., who were both convicted in 1983 of manslaughter in the 1982 death of their abusive father, Richard Jahnke, Sr., in Cheyenne and who were the subjects of the television film Right to Kill? In September 1985 he had to file for bankruptcy due to the failure of his 18,500 acre Yellowstone Ranch with almost $6 million in debt.[21]

During his tenure he vetoed more bills than any other governor in Wyoming's history, but none of his vetoes were ever overridden despite the Republicans holding supermajorities in both chambers during most of his tenure.[22] Some of his vetoes were unpopular such as when in 1984 he vetoed a homeowners tax credit program stating that it would subsidize homeowners who did not need it which resulted in the Democrats losing seven seats in the House of Representatives.

The Herschler Cabinet
OfficeNameTerm
GovernorEdgar Herschler1975-1987
Secretary of StateThyra Thomson1975-1987
State AuditorJames B. Griffith1975-1987
State TreasurerEdwin J. Witzenburger1975-1979
Shirley Wittler1979-1983
Stan Smith1983-1987
Superintendent of Public InstructionRobert G. Schrader1975-1979
Lynn Simons1979-1987

Later life

After leaving office he returned to practicing law in Cheyenne and in 1988, multiple people attempted to convince him to run in the Senate election against Malcolm Wallop, but he chose not to. In February 1988, he endorsed and campaigned for Senator Al Gore for the Democratic presidential nomination and on March 5 Wyoming became the first of seven contests that Gore won in the presidential primaries.[23] His successor as governor, Mike Sullivan, supported cigarette tax hikes and smoking bans and was added to Phillip Morris' list of smokers' enemies and in May 1988 Herschler criticized him for it and suggested that municipalities that ban smoking should not be given money from cigarette tax revenues.[24]

In early December 1989, he was hospitalized for cancer treatment and released on December 15, but was re-hospitalized in January 1990.[25] On February 5, 1990 he died in Cheyenne after suffering from cancer at age 71.[26]

Electoral history

Edgar Herschler electoral history
1970 Wyoming at-large Congressional District Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Teno Roncalio 26,309 66.36%
Democratic Edgar Herschler 11,238 28.34%
Democratic George W.K. Posvar 2,102 5.30%
Total votes 39,649 100.00%
1974 Wyoming Gubernatorial Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler 19,997 46.59%
Democratic Harry Leimback 15,255 35.54%
Democratic John J. Rooney 7,674 17.88%
Total votes 42,926 100.00%
1974 Wyoming Gubernatorial election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler 71,741 55.88% +18.67%
Republican Dick Jones 56,645 44.12% -18.67%
Total votes 128,386 100.00%
1978 Wyoming Gubernatorial Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler (incumbent) 28,406 46.59% +18.69%
Democratic Margaret McKinstry 15,111 34.72%
Total votes 43,517 100.00%
1978 Wyoming Gubernatorial election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler (incumbent) 69,972 50.86% -5.02%
Republican John C. Ostlund 67,595 49.14% +5.02%
Total votes 137,567 100.00%
1982 Wyoming Gubernatorial Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler (incumbent) 44,396 65.28% +19.91%
Democratic Pat McGuire 7,720 14.81%
Total votes 52,116 100.00%
1982 Wyoming Gubernatorial election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edgar Herschler (incumbent) 106,427 63.14% +12.28%
Republican Warren A. Morton 62,128 36.86% -12.28%
Total votes 168,555 100.00%

References

  1. ^ "Edgar J. Herschler".
  2. ^ "Herschler family has deep routes". Casper Star-Tribune. 30 March 1975. p. 66. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Ed Herschler | WyoHistory.org". www.wyohistory.org. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  4. ^ Capace, Nancy (2001-01-01). Encyclopedia of Wyoming. Somerset Publishers, Inc. ISBN 978-0-403-09613-8.
  5. ^ "Herschler Is Lincoln Attorney". Casper Star-Tribune. 8 March 1961. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Ed Herschler Files". Casper Star-Tribune. 15 June 1960. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "School Aid Repeal Bill Introduced". Casper Morning Star. 13 January 1961. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Herschler files 1962". Casper Morning Star. 10 July 1962. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Republicans Hold Majority In Legislature". Casper Star-Tribune. 7 November 1962. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "50 Bills Now Entered In Wyoming's House". Casper Star-Tribune. 15 January 1965. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Curb on Governor Rejected". Casper Star-Tribune. 19 January 1965. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Curb on Governor Rejected". Casper Star-Tribune. 16 September 1968. p. 8. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Herschler Not Candidate". Casper Star-Tribune. 12 December 1969. p. 6. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Herschler Decides To Run for House". Casper Star-Tribune. 28 April 1970. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Herschler to Back Roncalio". Casper Star-Tribune. 28 October 1970. p. 14. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Ed Herschler Possible Supreme Court Nominee". Casper Star-Tribune. 22 November 1971. p. 14. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Herschler to announce". Casper Star-Tribune. 23 May 1974. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Herschler not invited to meet President Carter". Casper Star-Tribune. 15 August 1978. p. 13. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Western Democratic leaders meet in Cody". Casper Star-Tribune. 11 September 1981. p. 13. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Herschler to chair Govs Conference". Casper Star-Tribune. 13 September 1981. p. 19. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Herschler". The Jackson Hole Guide. 7 February 1990. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Ed Herschler's political legacy". Casper Star-Tribune. 6 February 1990. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Herschler stumps for Gore Friday". Casper Star-Tribune. 5 March 1988. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Backlash forms against anti-smoking laws". Casper Star-Tribune. 15 May 1988. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "Herschler back in Cheyenne hospital". Casper Star-Tribune. 11 January 1990. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Former Gov. Ed Herschler is dead at 71". The Jackson Hole Guide. 7 February 1990. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020 – via Newspapers.com.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John J. Rooney
Democratic nominee for Governor of Wyoming
1974, 1978, 1982
Succeeded by
Mike Sullivan
Political offices
Preceded by
Stanley K. Hathaway
Governor of Wyoming
January 6, 1975 – January 5, 1987
Succeeded by
Mike Sullivan
This page was last edited on 11 February 2021, at 22:05
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