- LaMar Baker
LaMar Baker (
December 29, 1915– June 20, 2003) was a Tennesseebusinessman and Republican politicalfigure.
Baker was born in
Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended public schools in Chattanooga and then David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University) from 1936 to 1938. In 1940 he received a bachelor of sciencedegree from Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. In World War IIhe was in the United States Army Air Corps(now the United States Air Force), serving from 1942 to 1946.
Baker was a successful Chattanooga-area businessman prior to his
electionto the Tennessee House of Representativesin 1966. In 1968, he was elected to the Tennessee State Senate. In 1970, he received the Republican nomination for the Chattanooga-based Congressional District to replace Bill Brock, who was elected to the United States Senate. He won a very close race in November, undoubtedly aided by Brock's coattails.
Baker served two terms in Congress. He was reelected fairly handily in the Republican landslide year of 1972 (in which President
Richard Nixonwon all but five of Tennessee's 95 counties), during which he was also a delegate to the Republican National Convention, but in 1974, he was defeated for reelection by moderateDemocrat Marilyn Lloyd.
Two factors were involved in this defeat. One was the general unpopularity of Republicans in the wake of the
Watergatescandal and Nixon's resignation earlier that year, which was played out in many usually competitive and marginally Republican districts throughout the country. The other was the fact that Marilyn Lloyd was the widow of Mort Lloyd, an anchorman at CBSaffiliate WDEF-TV, who had won the Democratic nomination to face Baker and who had then been killed in a light-airplane accident on his way to celebrate his victory; the Democratic Party then chose his wife to succeed him as Congressional nominee.
Baker lost badly in a rematch against Marilyn Lloyd in 1976. From 1981 to 1985, Baker served as the regional representative to the
United States Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis. Baker lived his later years in Nashville and is buried in that city's Woodlawn Cemetery.
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