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WI: John W. Bricker assassinated in 1947


Well-known member
Little Beirut
Yes, another thread about a political figure's death. I'm a lot of fun.

On July 12, 1947, Senator John W. Bricker was shot at in the Capitol complex by a former Capitol Police officer named William Louis Kaiser. Kaiser was a fellow Ohioan and had petitioned Bricker for help after he lost money in a bank liquidation, to no avail. When arrested, he said he was just "trying to refresh [Bricker's] memory."

It's unclear from what I've read if Kaiser was aiming directly at Bricker or not, but he certainly could have hit him by accident even if he wasn't. What if he had slain the Senator? The Republicans only had a one-seat majority at the time, and it dies with Bricker.

Ohio filled vacancies by appointment pending a special election. Presumably Republican governor Thomas J. Herbert would install a Republican for the interim - but that still means a special election later that year that would decide control of the Senate. Who would the candidates be? If the Republicans lost their majority, what OTL legislation would turn out differently? Would this make it more difficult for Truman to campaign against a do-nothing Republican Congress in 1948?