Thick Brit Seeks Tip
February 5, 2010 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Obviously I am being a witless Brit. Because I can't figure out why THIS long dead Senator from Minnesota doesn't make wiki's list of all time shortest serving Senators. Charles A. Towne (Dem)was appointed to the office, serving only from Dec 5 1900 to Jan 23 1901.

So that's less than two months. Yes?


Then why isn't Towne on wiki's list (below)?

Do Senators only "count" if they're elected?

Wiki's Shortest serving Senators
Senator First served Last served Length of service
Richard E. Parker December 15, 1836 February 13, 1837 0 years, 1 month, 29 days
Thomas G. Burch May 31, 1946 November 5, 1946 0 years, 5 months, 5 days
Abraham B. Venable December 7, 1803 June 7, 1804 0 years, 6 months, 0 days
John Walker March 31, 1790 November 9, 1790 0 years, 7 months, 9 days
Lemuel J. Bowden March 4, 1863 January 2, 1864 0 years, 9 months, 29 days
posted by Jody Tresidder to Law & Government (10 answers total)
 
Do Senators only "count" if they're elected?

Well it looks like Burch was appointed as well. I'd say it's just an oversight. Fix it!
posted by jckll at 8:20 AM on February 5, 2010


Probably an oversight - it's not like Wikipedia has a team of historians on staff. Why don't you add it?
posted by lunasol at 8:21 AM on February 5, 2010


"Appointed" is not the same as "elected.". Did this guy replace someone who died in office or who resigned?

Alternatively ask this question on the Wikipedia edit page and see what the article's editors have to say.
posted by dfriedman at 8:21 AM on February 5, 2010


That list on Wikipedia is only for Virginia.
posted by smackfu at 8:23 AM on February 5, 2010


That list on Wikipedia is only for Virginia.

smackfu,
I am mortified (your user name is pretty brilliant - since I deserve a slap for failing google fu!).
I can see exactly how I jumped at that list...but it's still no excuse.

I need to do more research...and get a brain.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:32 AM on February 5, 2010


"Serving" means that it doesn't matter how one becomes a senator; a person serving as senator due to appointment is just as much a senator as someone who was elected. Before the early 20th century, senators were selected by the state legislator

(Technically, all senators become senators the same way- they are accepted into the body by the Senate itself. The Senate has actually certified the "loser" of a senate election because the election itself was heavily disputed and the recount process failed.)

But yeah, that list is only for one of fifty states.
posted by spaltavian at 8:33 AM on February 5, 2010


* state legislature
posted by spaltavian at 8:34 AM on February 5, 2010


I can see exactly how I jumped at that list...but it's still no excuse.

I tried to find a real list and didn't have much luck, on Wikipedia or anywhere.
posted by smackfu at 8:36 AM on February 5, 2010


You could add the name to Wikipedia and see if anyone removes it.
posted by null terminated at 8:46 AM on February 5, 2010


Here's an NPR post on the subject of the shortest-serving Senators, all states, all time. The shortest term was two days.
posted by beagle at 9:33 AM on February 5, 2010


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