- Peter Fitzgerald
Infobox Senator | name=Peter Fitzgerald
jr/sr=United States Senator
January 6, 1999– January 3, 2005
Carol Moseley Braun
January 13, 1993
November 16, 1998
preceded2=Virginia B. Macdonald
succeeded2=Wendell E. Jones
date of birth=birth date and age|1960|10|20
place of birth=
date of death=
place of death=
spouse=C. Nina Fitzgerald
Peter Gosselin Fitzgerald (born
October 20, 1960) is the former junior United States Senator from Illinois, having served from 1999– 2005, for one 6-year term. He is a member of the Republican Party (GOP). He previously served in the Illinois State Senatefrom 1992–1998, where he was a member of the ' Fab Five' group of conservatives who often challenged the leadership of the Illinois GOP. The group also included Steve Rauschenberger, Dave Syverson, Patrick O'Malley, and Chris Lauzen.
Born in Illinois, Fitzgerald graduated from
Portsmouth Abbey School, a Catholic boarding schoolon the shores of Rhode Island, in 1978, Dartmouth Collegein 1982, completed his post-graduate studies as a Rotary Scholarat Aristotelian Universityin Greece, and earned his law degree from the University of Michiganin 1986.
Fitzgerald is a
bankingheir who had a net worth of over $51 million when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998. His father, Gerald, built Suburban Bancorp, a chain of suburban banks, by aggressively buying banks around the Chicago suburbs, which he sold in 1994 to a subsidiary of the Bank of Montrealfor $246 million.
Fitzgerald defeated first-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator
Carol Moseley Braunin 1998, and served for one term in the U.S. Senate. He was the first Republican in Illinois to win a U.S. Senate race in 20 years, and the only Republican challenger in the country to defeat an incumbent Democratic senator in the 1998 election cycle. Even though Moseley Braun was dogged by corruption charges, Fitzgerald only defeated her by 2.9%.
Fitzgerald was a staunch conservative opposed to abortion (except to save the life of the mother), gun control, gay marriage and taxes on the wealthy; though on some issues, particularly on environmental issues — he opposed drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refugethroughout his tenure in the US Senate — he broke with conservative colleagues.
Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Fitzgerald battled with the state Republican Party leadership. He insisted on the appointment of an out-of-state US attorney,
Patrick Fitzgerald(no relation), to investigate corruption in the Illinois state government, which led to several indictments, including that of former Republican Governor George Ryan, who has since been convicted of several criminal abuses of authority. Fitzgerald declined to run for reelection largely because many Republican insiders who had failed to support him in his first run in 1998 had made it clear he would not have their support again, in what he knew would be a much tougher race.
Fitzgerald had two major moments in the spotlight in the Senate, the first in 2000 when he
filibustered a massive federal spending bill because it included funds for the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. He did it to bring light to the Republican-controlled Illinois state government's failure to promise competitive bidding for the project.
His second major moment was following the
September 11, 2001 attacks, when Congress quickly passed a massive bailout measure for most of the major airlines, which were in trouble financially. Standing alone out of all members of the U.S. Senate, Fitzgerald delivered a speech entitled "Who will bail out the American taxpayer," arguing that the airlines would simply go through the money and remain financially unstable. The bill passed 99 to 1.
Citing problems dealing with the State party leadership and family issues, Fitzgerald retired from the Senate at the end of his first, and only, term; Democratic State Senator
Barack Obamadefeated Republican Alan Keyesin a landslide to take the open seat. Fitzgerald is the only U.S. Senator in history to be both preceded and succeeded by African Americans.
He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the
National Constitution Centerin Philadelphia, a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. [National Constitution Center (2008). [http://www.constitutioncenter.org/about_us/BoardofTrustees/index.shtml National Constitution Center Board of Trustees] . Retrieved April 17, 2008.]
*1998 Republican Primary - U.S. Senate
**Peter Fitzgerald (R), 51.83%
**Loleta Didrickson (R), 48.17%
*1998 General Election - U.S. Senate
**Peter Fitzgerald (R), 50.35%
Carol Moseley Braun(D) (inc.), 47.44%
* [http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/can_detail/S8IL00082 Federal Election Commission — Peter G Fitzgerald] campaign finance reports and data
* [http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/peter_g_fitzgerald/index.html New York Times — Topics: Peter G. Fitzgerald] collected news and commentary
* [http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Peter_Fitzgerald.htm On the Issues — Peter Fitzgerald] issue positions and quotes
* [http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/allsummary.asp?cid=N00004690 OpenSecrets.org" — Peter G. Fitzgerald] campaign contributions
NAME= Fitzgerald, Peter G.
SHORT DESCRIPTION=United States Senator from
DATE OF BIRTH=
October 20, 1960
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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