By: William Thornton
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby is now Alabama’s longest serving senator.
Today, Shelby surpassed the record of John Sparkman, the Alabamian who has previously served the longest in the Senate.
Shelby, who was elected to the Senate in 1986 as a Democrat, has served as Alabama’s senator for 11,748 days, or 32 years, 59 days, as of today. Shelby switched to the Republican Party in November 1994. He also served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat.
Sparkman, who was the 1952 Democratic vice presidential candidate, served as Alabama’s senator for 11,747 days, from Nov. 6, 1946 to Jan. 3, 1979, or 32 years, 58 days. He died in 1985.