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Democratic Conference Chairpersons


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SenatorTerm
StevensonJohn W. Stevenson (D-KY) 1877 ended 1877
WallaceWilliam A. Wallace (D-PA) 1878-1881 1878–1881
PendletonGeorge H. Pendleton (D-OH) 1881-1885 1881–1885
BeckJames B. Beck (D-KY) 1885-1890 1885–1890
GormanArthur P. Gorman (D-MD) 1890-1898 1890–1898
TurpieDavid Turpie (D-IN) 1898-1899 1898–1899
JonesJames K. Jones (D-AR) 1899-1903 1899–1903
GormanArthur P. Gorman (D-MD) 1903-1906 1903–1906
BlackburnJoseph C. S. Blackburn (D-KY) 1906-1907 1906–1907
CulbersonCharles A. Culberson (D-TX) 1907-1909 1907–1909
MoneyHernando Money (D-MS) 1909-1911 1909–1911
MartinThomas S. Martin (D-VA) 1911-1913 1911–1913
KernJohn W. Kern (D-IN) 1913-1917 1913–1917
MartinThomas S. Martin (D-VA) 1917-1919 1917–1919
UnderwoodOscar W. Underwood (D-AL) 1920-1923 1920–1923
RobinsonJoseph T. Robinson (D-AR) 1923_1937 1923–1937
BarkleyAlben W. Barkley (D-KY) 1937_1949 1937–1949
LucasScott W. Lucas (D-IL) 1949_1951 1949–1951
McFarlandErnest W. McFarland (D-AZ) 1951_1953 1951–1953
JohnsonLyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) 1953_1961 1953–1961
MansfieldMike Mansfield (D-MT) 1961_1977 1961–1977
ByrdRobert C. Byrd (D-WV) 1977_1989 1977–1989
MitchellGeorge J. Mitchell (D-ME) 1989_1995 1989–1995
DaschleThomas A. Daschle (D-SD) 1995_20050103 1995–2005
ReidHarry Reid (D-NV) 20050103_20170103 2005–2017
SchumerCharles E. Schumer (D-NY) 20170103 2017–present

Note: Beginning in 1920, the Democratic Conference chairperson also served as Democratic floor leader. In that year, Oscar Underwood became the first officially designated Democratic floor leader, and the tradition of combining the two positions continues to this day.


Sources for this information include: Gerald Gamm and Steven S. Smith, “Emergence of Senate Party Leadership,” in Bruce I, Oppenheimer, ed., U.S. Senate Exceptionalism (Ohio State University Press, 2002), pp. 212-238; “Rules of the Senate Republican Conference,” September 24, 1990; U.S. Congress, Senate, Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, by Floyd M. Riddick, S. Doc. 100-29, 100th Cong., 2d sess., 1988.