Charles Norwood

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Charles Whitlow Norwood Jr. was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007, representing the 9th and 10th Districts of Georgia. He died on February 13, 2007, while serving his seventh term in Congress.


Record and controversy

Voting record

Iraq War

Norwood voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
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Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act

Norwood introduced the Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act (H.R. 710)on January 29, 2007. If passed, the act would amend the National Organ Transplant Act to clarify that kidney paired donation does not involve the transfer of a human organ for valuable consideration.[2]

After Norwood's death, the act was renamed The Charlie W. Norwood Living Organ Donation Act and it passed both the House and the Senate in July of 2007.[3]

Main article: Living Kidney Organ Donation Clarification Act


2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Terry Holley to face Norwood in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) Norwood retained his seat.

Issues and positions

Norwood was perhaps best known for his support of a Patients' Bill of Rights, a position at odds with many congressional Republicans. On two occasions during his tenure, the House passed legislation achieving this aim, though it was never reconciled with the Senate. Just one day before his death, Norwood introduced the bill again in the House. [1]

Norwood also held strong views on illegal immigration, calling the situation as of 2006 at the U.S.-Mexico border a “true invasion.” Reflecting this view, he co-wrote a provision in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act which barred illegal A specialimmigrants from receiving Medicaid services. [2]

Norwood also received attention in 2006 as one of thirty-three House members to oppose the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which he saw as wrongfully discriminatory towards southern states. [3]


Norwood suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease, from 1998 until his death. He received a lung transplant in 2004, requiring him to take immune suppression drugs afterwards. Tumor development is a common side effect of these drugs, and in late 2005, he had a small cancerous tumor removed from his lung. Several weeks after his victory in the 2006 congressional elections, another malignant tumor was discovered on his liver. He began receiving chemotherapy treatments, but these did not go well. [4]

On February 7, 2007, Norwood decided to forgo further treatment for his condition. He left Washington and returned to his home in Georgia to receive hospice care. He stated, "Let me go back home, stop all the treatments and just see how I can do there." [5]


On February 13, 2007, at the age of 65, Norwood died in his home in Augusta, Georgia. [6] [7] President Bush called Norwood "a good friend and a strong, spirited legislator who always stuck to his principles." [8]


In order to fill Norwood’s seat, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) was required to issue a writ of election in the ten days following Norwood's death. The election had to occur thirty days after the writ. If no candidate received at least fifty percent of the vote, a runoff election would then take place within the four weeks which followed.[4][5]

As of February, three candidates had entered the race so far including:

  • Jim Whitehead (R)
  • Ralph T. Hudgens (R)
  • Terry Holley (D)[6]

June 19, 2007 was set as the election date with a July 17 runoff for the top two vote-getters.[7]

Early run-off results indicate upset

In the results of the June special election Jim Whitehead (R) led Paul Broun (R) by 23 points, but early results of the runoff suggested that Broun may have come out ahead. Whitehead had many significant advantages over Broun, including greater campaign spending and key endorsements, including one by Norwood's widow, but surprisingly, as of July 17, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Broun held a narrow 371-vote lead over Jim Whitehead.[8]

The closeness of the race is expected to result in a recount.[9]

Paul Broun elected

A week after the run-off election, the results became official and Paul Broun was elected, just barely, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent over Jim Whitehead, a margin of just 394 votes. Initially, Jim Whitehead stated that he would seek a recount, which he was allowed to do with a margin of less than one percent, however, after careful consideration, he decided against it in order not to delay the district's proper representation in Congress. On July 25, 2007, Broun was officially sworn in as the Representative from Georgia's 10th Congressional District by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).[10]

Questionable posthumous campaign party

Two months after Charlie Norwood's death, his campaign threw a $63,000 thank-you party at a golf resort for his supporters. At the time of his death, Norwood had $700,000 in his campaign accounts. This money could be used for a variety of purposes, but law restricted the amount that could be contributed to political parties or campaigns.[11]

It seemed odd, however, that this $63,000 party occurred on the same day and at the same resort as a fundraiser for former state senator Jim Whitehead to fill Norwood's vacant seat. Whitehead was endorsed by Norwood's widow and was heavily favored to take the seat, though he lost in an upset to fellow Republican Paul Broun by 394 votes, who Whitehead outspent by large margins. The close proximity of Norwood's party to Whitehead's event raised questions as to whether Norwood's campaign funds were being used in Whitehead's race.[12]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Charles Norwood
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations

Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Speaker's Working Group on Health Care Reform, 1997-1998
  • Speaker's Task Force on Tritium Production, 1995-1996
  • Army Caucus
  • Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus
  • Former Chair, G-8 Organization
  • Co-Chair, Military Veterans Caucus
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Congressional Members Organization
  • Rural Health Care Caucus

Boards and other Affiliations

  • American Dental Association
  • Member, American Legion
  • Founder, Augusta Dental Disaster Society
  • Member, Military Order of the World Wars
  • Member, Trinity-on-the-Hill United Methodist Church
  • Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Charles Norwood. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
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District offices
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On the Web
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Articles and resources

See also


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Robert McElroy. "The Week in Congress page on H.R.710," The Week in Congress. July 11, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy. "The Week in Congress page on H.R.710," The Week in Congress. July 11, 2007.
  4. Jackie Kucinich. "Rep. Norwood dies after long bout with cancer," The Hill. February 14, 2007.
  5. Lauren W. Whittington. "Special House Election Looms," Roll Call. February 14, 2007.
  6. "Date, Candidates Coming Into Focus for Election to Replace Norwood," CQ. February 21, 2007.
  7. Chris Cillizza and Michael D. Shear. "Date Set to Fill Ga. House Seat," Washington Post. February 28, 2007.
  8. Josh Kraushaar. "Major campaign upset brewing in Georgia's 10th District," The Politico. July 18, 2007.
  9. Josh Kraushaar. "Major campaign upset brewing in Georgia's 10th District," The Politico. July 18, 2007.
  10. Rachel Kapochunas, "Georgia’s Broun Fulfills House Dreams With Special-Election Victory," CQ, July 25, 2007.
  11. Ben Evans. "Rep. Norwood's Posthumous Campaign Party," Associated Press (via Washington Post). July 24, 2007.
  12. Ben Evans. "Rep. Norwood's Posthumous Campaign Party," Associated Press (via Washington Post). July 24, 2007.

External resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

External articles