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Former S.C. Senate President John Drummond Dies

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WORLD WAR II HERO PASSES AWAY … 

Former S.C. Senate President John Drummond – the last Democrat to lead a legislative body in the state of South Carolina – passed away this Labor Day weekend.

Perhaps fittingly, the longtime Democrat from Ninety Six, S.C. was … 96 years old.

A former World War II fighter pilot, Drummond flew a P-47D Thunderbolt emblazoned with a “Raid Hot Mama” logo during the U.S.-led invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. He attained the rank of captain with the 405th fighter bomber group – and actually spent ten months in a German prisoner of war camp during the war.

For his heroics, Drummond received numerous awards and commendations – including the distinguished flying cross, a presidential citation, the Purple Heart (twice), the Battle Star (three times) and the U.S. air medal (nine times).

“The Greatest Generation was great because of Americans like John Drummond,” S.C. Democratic Party (SCDP) chairman Jamie Harrison said in a statement.

Here’s a picture of Drummond aboard his Thunderbolt …

(Click to enlarge)

drummond

(Pic via Wing Chez Alice)

After spending two years in the S.C. House of Representatives, Drummond was elected to the State Senate in 1966 – where he served continuously for more than four decades (representing residents in Abbeville, Greenwood and Laurens counties).

Nicknamed “The Bulldog,” Drummond was generally regarded as a mild-mannered lawmaker – however he once famously challenged a rival Democratic leader, Rembert Dennis of Berkeley County, to a fist fight.

From 1996-2001, Drummond was Senate president pro tempore – the most powerful position in the chamber (and one of the most powerful posts in all of state government).  He lost that title to fiscally liberal “Republican” Glenn McConnell when the GOP took control of the chamber in 2001 owing to the defection of former Democrat J. Verne Smith.

An avowed fiscal liberal, Drummond consistently voted in favor of bigger government and was among the most aggressive supporters of the Palmetto State’s failed government-run school system.

Unlike “Republicans” at the S.C. State House, though (who support precisely the same policies) at least he was honest about it …

Anyway, our thoughts and prayers go out to Drummond’s friends and family members on their loss.

(Banner image via Travis Bell Photography)

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