Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

name= Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

caption=Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
order= 5th
state= Maryland
office= Lt. Governor
term_start= 1995
term_end=January 15, 2003
governor= Parris Glendening
predecessor= Melvin Steinberg
successor= Michael S. Steele
birth_date= birth date and age|1951|7|4
birth_place=Greenwich, Connecticut
party= Democratic
profession= Lawyer
alma_mater=Harvard University
University of New Mexico
spouse= David Lee Townsend
children= 4
website= http://www.kathleenkennedytownsend.com/

Hon. Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, (born July 4, 1951) was lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Maryland in 2002. The eldest of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel's 11 children, she is part of the Kennedy political family. She was named for her aunt Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, who died in a plane crash in 1948.

Early life and career

Townsend was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter says that the family asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy to be her godfather; [Coulter, Ann. "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism." ISBN 1400050324] other sources say they only considered asking him.cite book
author=Maier, Thomas
title=The Kennedys: America's emerald kings
publisher=New York
location=Mayflower Books
] However, her family writes that her godparents are her aunt, Jean Kennedy Smith, and Danny Walsh, one of her mother's teachers at Manhattanville. ["Hostage to Fortune" by Joseph P. Kennedy, edited by Amanda Smith]

She spent most of her childhood in McLean, Virginia, though she attended Stone Ridge School in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated "cum laude" from Harvard University, receiving her bachelor's degree in history and literature. She then studied at the University of New Mexico School of Law, receiving her Juris Doctor degree in 1978. For several years, she worked as an attorney.

In 1986, Townsend ran for Congress in Maryland's second Congressional district, losing to Helen Delich Bentley 41% to 59%, thus becoming the first Kennedy to lose a general election.Fact|date=February 2008 She then went to work for the state government of Maryland, holding numerous government posts including assistant Attorney General. She also served on the State Board of Education, and as a presidential elector in 1992. Following this, she worked for two years in the Clinton administration, as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Townsend married David Lee Townsend (b. November 17, 1947), [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/kennedys/sfeature/sf_tree_text.html American Experience | The Kennedys | Kennedy Family Tree | PBS ] ] a tutor (professor) at St. John's College in Annapolis, on November 17, 1973 in Washington, D.C.. He is the son of L. Raymond Townsend and Delores Fahey. The Townsends have four daughters:

*Meaghan Anne Kennedy Townsend (b. November 7, 1977 in Santa Fe, New Mexico);
*Maeve Fahey Kennedy Townsend (b. November 1, 1979 in New Haven, Connecticut);
*Rose Katherine Kennedy Townsend (b. December 17, 1983 in Weston, Massachusetts);
*Kerry Sophia Kennedy Townsend (b. November 30, 1991 in Bethesda, Maryland).

Lieutenant Governor of Maryland

In 1994, Parris Glendening was running for Governor in a highly contested primary against Lt. Governor Melvin A. Steinberg. Glendening's selection of Townsend to serve as his running mate was widely credited for giving his campaign national support, and Kennedy money, ultimately for winning the Democratic primary. In the General election, Glendening and Townsend beat Republican candidate Ellen Sauerbrey in one of Maryland's closest and most controversial gubernatorial elections. The election was in doubt as charges of voter fraud led to a lawsuit by the Sauerbrey campaign to overturn the election, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Sauerbrey challenged Glendening again in 1998, but this time Glendening and Townsend won with a wider margin of victory.

2002 Maryland Gubernatorial election

In the Maryland gubernatorial election of 2002, Lt. Gov. Townsend ran as a Democrat, facing off against Republican Bob Ehrlich and Libertarian Spear Lancaster.

During the election, Townsend was criticized for her choice of running mate; she picked retired Admiral Charles R. Larson, a novice politician who had switched parties only a few weeks before. Larson was also a white male, unlikely to help minority turnout. In contrast, Ehrlich's running mate was Michael S. Steele, an African-American lawyer who had been chairman of the Republican Party of Maryland. The Townsend campaign was also hurt by the low approval ratings of outgoing Governor Parris Glendening, who had been involved in a marital scandal during the latter half of his second term as governor. Townsend's popularity continued to fall when it was reported that much of her campaign money was given by out-of-state donors; Ehrlich remained quiet while the Lt. Governor's poll numbers declined.

Even though Maryland traditionally votes Democratic and had not elected a Republican Governor in almost 40 years, Townsend lost the race, gaining 48% of the vote to Ehrlich's 51% and Lancaster's 1%. Ehrlich became only the seventh Republican governor in state history, resulting in heavy criticism directed at Townsend from many party activists. In the end, most observers agreed she ran a weak campaign; specifically, they cited a lack of planning, claiming that she hastily booked campaign stops in rural areas hostile to her and that she produced campaign literature of poor printing quality.

Current work

Since leaving office, Townsend has served on the board of directors for many organizations, and consultant to several corporations. Currently she is chair of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland, and also serves on the boards of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Points of Light Foundation, Center for American Progress, and National Catholic Reporter. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue, as well as adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Public Policy, Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Senior Nitze Fellow at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She was also a commencement speaker at the Roland Park Country School for Girls on June 10, 2008.

2008 Presidential Election

In late 2007, Townsend, along with siblings Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kerry Kennedy, [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/16/politics/main3623528.shtml Kennedy Family Split On Endorsements] ] announced that they would be endorsing Hillary Clinton.

In response to subsequent endorsements by Caroline Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Patrick J. Kennedy for Barack Obama, Robert, Kathleen, and Kerry wrote in a January 29 2008 editorial, "By now you may have read or heard that our cousin, Caroline Kennedy, and our uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, have come out in favor of Sen. Barack Obama. We, however, are supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton because we believe that she is the strongest candidate for our party and our country." [cite news | url=http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kennedy29jan29,0,1618955.story | title=Kennedys for Clinton | author=Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kerry Kennedy | work= Los Angeles Times | date=2008-01-29 | accessdate=2008-01-29]

Religious Views

Townsend, despite claiming she is personally an opponent of abortion, is one of the most outspoken pro-choice members of her family. She holds many other religious views, like the belief that the Bishops should be elected by people within a diocese rather than appointed by Pope and that there should be a female Pope. She has been critical of the church's position on many issues like abortion and gay rights. She once said that the Catholic Church is "on the wrong track" and her writings have been condemned by the Church itself. [ [http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/townsend Boston College Front Row - Seventh Annual Prophetic Voices in the Church Lecture ] ]

Election history

1998 Maryland Gubernatorial Election (Lieutenant Governor's seat)

1994 Maryland Gubernatorial Election (Lieutenant Governor's seat)


*"Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way", Warner Books, 2007 (ISBN 0446577154)


* [http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/08conoff/former/html/msa12084.html Official state government biography]
* [http://library.cqpress.com Congressional Quarterly Voting and Elections Collection]


External links

* [http://www.kathleenkennedytownsend.com/ Official site]
*imdb name|1195089
* [http://www.issues2000.org/Kathleen_Kennedy_Townsend.htm Summary of Townsend's positions on the issues]
* [http://chiasmos.uchicago.edu/events/kennedytownsend.shtml Audio/Video recordings] of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on her book "Failing America's Faithful", from the University of Chicago's [http://internationalstudies.uchicago.edu/wbh.shtml World Beyond the Headlines series]

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