In U.S. politics
an independent Democrat is an individual who loosely identifies with the ideals of the Democratic Party
but chooses not to be a formal member of the party (chooses to be an independent
). Independent Democrat is not a political party. Several elected official
s, including members of Congress
, have identified as ''Independent Democrats''.
The first member of the United States House of Representatives
to identify as an independent Democrat was Zadok Casey
, who served from 1833 to 1843. Casey was a Jacksonian Democrat
before becoming an independent
In 1848, a candidate for Mayor of Chicago, James Hutchinson Woodworth
, labelled himself an independent Democrat to distance himself from what was at the time a corrupt and disorganized Chicago Democratic party organization; he preferred being described as an independent Democrat rather than as a Whig as that party was itself experiencing a transition. He won election in his first campaign by an overwhelming majority and then was re-elected for a second term. However his Mayoral political success sealed his departure from any further association with the then Illinois Democratic party. When the Whigs in Illinois became the new Republican party, and he was able to confirm that his Abolitionist ideals would be recognized, he registered as a member of the GOP. He subsequently was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Illinois as a member of the GOP. Woodworth served one term in Congress, and return to a banking career in Chicago that spanned the Civil War era and the Reconstruction.
Andrew Jackson Hamilton
, in western Texas, was an independent Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, but did not run for re-election in 1860.
of South Carolina
was elected to the United States Senate
in 1954 and served as an independent Democrat in the 84th Congress
until his resignation on April 4, 1956. In November of that year he was elected as a Democrat
to fill the vacancy created by his resignation. Thurmond later became a member of the Republican Party
Harry F. Byrd Jr.
, a senator from Virginia
, left the Democratic Party in 1970. He continued to caucus
with the Democrats and referred to himself as an independent Democrat.
was a Democrat who ran as an independent as a vice-presidential candidate in 1980 with John B. Anderson
, who served as Mayor of Chicago
briefly, entered politics as an independent Democrat.
In the 2006 primary
, Joseph Lieberman
, a Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator, lost the Democratic nomination for that office to entrepreneur Ned Lamont
by a 52% to 48% margin. Lieberman created a new party called the Connecticut for Lieberman
Party, obtained its nomination for the seat on the basis of signed petitions, and ran in the general election
in November as its candidate—one of five on the ballot in that race. He won with 49.7% of the votes cast for the office. He had stated while campaigning that if elected he would to meet in caucus
with the Democrats in the 110th United States Congress
, and within the week following the election, he stated that he was "an independent Democrat, capital I, capital D", and that he had specified as much to the secretary of the Senate. Throughout that Congress, he continued in that caucus (and it remained the majority caucus, with 51 or 50 members, complemented by the 49 or 48 Republicans caucusing together). , during the 111th Congress
, Lieberman was annotated as "ID-CT" on the U.S. Senate's "contact information" web page for him, and with "Independent" in the "Party" column (for both the 110th and 111th Congresses) on Congress's "Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress" page for him.
Four members of the New York State Senate
, Jeffrey Klein
, Diane Savino
, David Valesky
, and David Carlucci
, indicated they would form a similarly designated caucus separate from the Democratic conference in 2011, known as the Independent Democratic Conference
. Following the 2009 New York State Senate Leadership Crisis
the IDC formed a coalition government
with then New York Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos
to give Republicans
control of the New York State Senate. In April 2018 the IDC announced they would dissolve
and following the primary defeat of six of the eight members in the 2018 election the chamber returned to Democratic control in 2019
* Blue Dog Coalition
* Conservative Democrat
* Independent Republican
, the Republican Party
* New Democrats
* Congressional Progressive Caucus
Category:Democratic Party (United States)
Category:Factions in the Democratic Party (United States)