Richard Shelby is an American politician, who is currently serving as the senior senator from the state of Alabama. Shelby is a member of the Republican Party. He had started out as a Democrat, but later switched sides to the Republican Party. He has a long career in politics, spanning more than three decades. It was in 1986 that he was elected to the US Senate for the first time. He was a Democrat at that time.
Shelby joined the Republican Party in 1994 and since then has stayed with it till now. With Republican Party, Shelby has been continuously elected as senator from Alabama since 1998 and has not faced any tough challenges in any of these elections. He is currently the longest serving senator from the state of Alabama.
Early life and education
Shelby was born on May 06, 1934 to Alice and Ozie Houston Shelby. He did his studies at Hueytown High School and later at University of Alabama. Next, he enrolled himself at the Birmingham School of Law, from where he received his Juris Doctor in 1961. The same year, he became a member of the Alabama State Bar. Shelby has also completed his LL.B. in 1963 from University of Alabama. Over the years, he has held various positions in his professional career such as city prosecutor for Tuscaloosa, U.S. Magistrate in charge of the Northern District of Alabama and a Special Assistant State Attorney General. Shelby married Annette Nevin in 1960. He has two children from the marriage.
Prior to being elected for US Senate, Shelby had served in the Alabama Senate for around eight years. Later, he had also been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms. He contested the US Senate election in 1986 and defeated his nearest rival Jeremiah Denton of Republican Party. It was a closely fought election, where the difference between the winner and runner-up was only a few thousand votes.
Since then, Shelby has won the Alabama seat in 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016. In all of these elections, Shelby has registered a comfortable win over his nearest rivals. Over the years, Shelby has expressed his opinions on various topics such as economy, abortion laws, foreign policy, civil rights, gun law, healthcare, immigration laws, and taxation laws.
Shelby likes to keep himself updated with current affairs, both at the national and international level. He has been associated with several social welfare projects. Shelby is committed to helping out people in his state, especially when the matter involves federal rules and regulations.