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Longley, James B. Sr.

James B. Longley, Sr. in the governor's office

James B. Longley, Sr. in the governor’s office

(1924-1980) born in Lewiston, attended public schools, Baldwin College, and received a law degree from the University of Maine in 1957.

After his service with the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to enter the insurance business and became quite successful with his form Longley Associates.

He served Governor Kenneth Curtis chairing the controversial Maine Management and Cost Survey Committee, which recommended sweeping changes in Maine government. With thirty-nine percent of the vote in 1974 he edged out the Democrat George Mitchell and the Republican James Ervin was to be elected Maine’s first non-party independent governor.

His administration, from 1975-1979, was a controversial one with power divided among the non-party governor, the Republican Senate and the Democratic House of Representatives. Longley’s personality and his suspicion of “politicians” severely limited his cooperation with the legislature.

James Bernard Longley died on August 16, 1980 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lewiston.

His son, James B. Longley, Jr., was later a member of Congress and an unsuccessful candidate for governor.

Additional resources

Drew, Thomas P.  Factors Associated with the 1974 Election of James Longley. 1979. Thesis (M.A.) in Political Science–University of Maine, 1979.

Longly, James B. 1 VHS moving image cassette (30 MIN.) University of Maine at Augusta, Special Collections.

*Kennebec Journal, Augusta, August 18, 1980.

Longley, Susan W. James B. Longley: a governor and his independent political style. Orono, Me., 1992. Thesis (M.A.) in History–University of Maine, 1992.

*Methuin, Eugene H. “The Governor Who Kept His Word,” The Reader’s Digest, December, 1979, pp. 2-6.

 

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2

 

Willis Johnson. The Year of the Longley. Stonington, Me. Penobscot Bay Press. 1978.

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*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors(accessed April 25, 2011) (accessed April 25, 2011)

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