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  • Richard Craig Shelby is the senior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected to the Senate in 1986, he is the ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations and was the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs from 2003 to 2007. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Shelby received his law degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he went on to serve as city prosecutor. During this period he worked as a U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama and Special Assistant Attorney General of Alabama. He won a seat in the Alabama Senate in 1970. In 1978 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the 7th District, where he was among a group of conservative Democrats known as the boll weevils. Shelby won a tight race in 1986 for the U.S. Senate. Originally elected as a Democrat, Shelby switched to the Republican Party in 1994 when Republicans gained the majority in Congress midway through President Bill Clinton's first term. He was re-elected by a large margin in 1998 and has faced no significant electoral opposition since. Wikipedia

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