William J. Hughes: Wikis


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William J. Hughes

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Charles W. Sandman, Jr.
Succeeded by Frank A. LoBiondo

In office
November 7, 1995 – October 13, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Oliver P. Garza
Succeeded by Simon Ferro

Born October 17, 1932 (1932-10-17) (age 77)
Salem, New Jersey
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Nancy Hughes
Children Bill, Jr.; Lynne; Barbara; Tama
Residence Ocean City, New Jersey
Alma mater Rutgers University
Occupation Lawyer / Prosecutor
Religion Episcopalian

William John "Bill" Hughes (born October 17, 1932) is an American Democratic Party politician from New Jersey. He represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for 20 years and also served as United States Ambassador to Panama.



Hughes was born in Salem, New Jersey. A graduate of Rutgers University, Hughes earned an A.B. in 1955. He received his Juris Doctor in 1958 from Rutgers School of Law-Camden. In 1959, Hughes opened a private law practice in Ocean City, New Jersey. He served as town solicitor for Upper Township, New Jersey from 1959 to 1961. Hughes lost his first electoral bid for Congress in 1970, but ran again and won in 1974.

As a congressman, he managed the impeachment proceedings against District Court Judge Harry E. Claiborne of Nevada in 1986. He served ten consecutive terms of office before retiring from Congress when he was appointed United States Ambassador to Panama (1995–1998). As of 2007, he is again practicing law, serving as counsel to the firm of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti.[1]

A long time Gun Control advocate, Congressman Hughes was also sponsor of an amendment (H.AMDT.777) to H.R.4332, the McClure-Volkmer Act (the House version of the Firearm Owners Protection Act) in 1986 that prohibited possession of fully-automatic firearms manufactured after May 19, 1986. This "Hughes Amendment" has caused much discontent since it was proposed and voice voted into law late at night when possible opponents to the amendment where not present. Many argue over its constitutionality.

The FAA Technical Center in southern New Jersey was renamed to the William J. Hughes Technical Center in his honor.

Election history

New Jersey's 2nd congressional district: Results 1970, 1974–1992[2]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1970 William Hughes 64,882 48% Charles W. Sandman, Jr. 69,392 52%
1974 William Hughes 109,763 57% Charles W. Sandman, Jr. 79,064 41% Andrew Wenger Independent 2,693 1%
1976 William Hughes 141,753 62% James R. Hurley 87,915 38%
1978 William Hughes 112,768 66% James H. Biggs 56,997 34%
1980 William Hughes 135,437 57% Beech N. Fox 97,072 41% Robert C. Rothhouse Libertarian 2,262 1% *
1982 William Hughes 102,826 68% John J. Mahoney 47,069 31% Bruce Powers Libertarian 1,233 1%
1984 William Hughes 132,841 63% Raymond G. Massie 77,231 37%
1986 William Hughes 83,821 68% Alfred J. Bennington, Jr. 35,167 29% Len Smith Pro Life, Anti-Abortion 3,812 3%
1988 William Hughes 134,505 66% Kirk W. Conover 67,759 33% Richard A. Schindewolf, Jr. Pro-Life Conservative 2,372 1%
1990 William Hughes 97,698 88% (no candidate) William A. Kanengiser Populist 13,120 12%
1992 William Hughes 132,465 56% Frank A. LoBiondo 98,315 41% Roger W. Bacon Libertarian 2,575 1% *
* Minor candidate notes: In 1980, Adele Frisch ran from the Socialist Labor party and garnered 939 votes (<1%). In 1992, Joseph Ponczek ran under the Anti-Tax party and had 2,067 votes (1%) cast for him; Andrea Lippi ran under the "Freedom, Equality, Prosperity" party and got 1,605 votes (1%).

See also


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles W. Sandman, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Frank A. LoBiondo
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Oliver P. Garza
United States Ambassador to Panama
November 7, 1995–October 13, 1998
Succeeded by
Simon Ferro


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