Former Sen. 'Lauch' Faircloth dies at 95

 September 16, 2023

Duncan McLauchlin Faircloth, the former U.S. Senator who was most commonly known as "Lauch" - pronounced "lock" - has died at the age of 95. 

The Washington Post reports that Faircloth died on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at his home in Clinton, North Carolina.

Faircloth's passing, according to the outlet, has been confirmed by one of Faircloth's former aides - Brad Crone. Crone did not provide the outlet with a cause of death.

The News & Observer, however, has confirmed Faircloth's passing with his daughter, Anne Faircloth. And, she told the outlet that her father died from natural causes.

Who was Faircloth?

Faircloth's political career was not the longest one, having only served as a U.S. Senator for North Carolina for one term. This one term, however, was an eventful one.

Additionally, Faircloth's involvement in politics goes well beyond this one term. The News & Observer reports:

Born Duncan McLauchlin Faircloth in Sampson County, Faircloth became steeped in Democratic politics before he was old enough to vote, helping candidates for governor and working in their administrations. The first time he put himself out as a statewide candidate, Faircloth lost a Democratic primary for governor but survived a campaign-trip plane crash.

It was in the early 1990s that Faircloth made his bid for the U.S. Senate, running as a Republican who wanted to cut taxes. When asked why he changed parties, he said it was "a matter of principle," adding:

Here I am an avowed conservative, under the charade of a liberal Democratic Party. At that point, I knew that I had to make a change.

Faircloth would go on to win his bid for the U.S. Senate, beating U.S. Sen. Terry Sanford (D-NC) in 1992.

As mentioned, Faircloth's platform focused, in particular, on economics, and, accordingly, he ended up being placed on the Senate Appropriations Committee. One of the things that he is, perhaps, best remembered for is his stance on welfare. He, for example, insisted that people receiving welfare also ought to have jobs.

The Barry-Faircloth clash

Perhaps the other thing that Faircloth is particularly known for is his clash with former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry, back during the financial crisis of the 1990s.

The Post reports, "With the District stumbling toward possible bankruptcy in the mid-1990s, Mr. Faircloth became the face of congressional unease as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the District of Columbia."

Congress, with Faircloth playing a major role, would take control of much of D.C. And, Barry did not particularly like this, so Barry ruthlessly targeted Faircloth in the press.

Faircloth would lose his reelection bid in 1998.

After politics, he returned to farming.

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