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First-jew Elected Lt. Gov. of Mo.

November 26, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Kenneth Rothman, the first Jew to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, said here that “Only in a democracy such as the United States could someone of my social, economic and ethnic background use to a position of such stature.”

Rothman, a 45-year-old Democrat who was elected Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives in 1977, is the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Europe. He decisively defeated his Republican opponent Ray Blunt, by a vote of 1,050,000-792,000 in the November 4 elections. He won St. Louis County by an 80,000 vote margin, running for ahead of the Democratic ticket. President Carter lost the county as did Sen. Thomas Eagleton although he won reelection.

Rothman was born in St. Louis and was educated at local grade schools and high schools and at Washington University where he received his low degree. He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1962 at the age of 26, one of the state’s youngest legislators. He and his wife, Geri, and their four children are affiliated with the United Hebrew Congregation.

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