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Trent Lott: A Featured Biography


Trent Lott by Steven Polson

Mississippi’s Trent Lott came to Capitol Hill in 1968 to work as an administrative assistant for Representative William Colmer. When Colmer retired in 1972, Lott succeeded him and served eight terms in the House, including eight years as Republican Whip. Elected to the Senate in 1988, Lott became the Senate Republican Whip in 1993, the only person to hold this position in both houses of Congress. Known for his organizational skills and member-to-member negotiations, Lott is credited with modernizing the whip office, creating a model still in operation today. Senate Republicans chose him as floor leader in 1996 and he served five years as majority leader. Throughout his career, Lott actively forged bipartisan coalitions—with Democrats on the Hill and in the White House—and guided the Senate through the impeachment trial of President William Clinton in 1999 and the response to terrorist attacks in 2001.