Utica's historical connection to Romney's vice presidential selection

By ANDREW DONOVAN

(WKTV) - Republican presidential candidate and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney stood next to Congressman Paul Ryan Saturday morning, just hours after Ryan's selection as Romney's vice-presidential choice was confirmed by the press.

Politics aside, Romney's choosing of Ryan is a unique one when you look at the history of presidential elections. In fact, in looking at the history, a close connection to the City of Utica can be made.

The last sitting Republican congressman who ran for and was elected vice president of the United States was former Utica Mayor James Schoolcraft Sherman. He ran with President William Howard Taft in 1908.

Standing members of the House of Representatives are rarely chosen to run on a national spotlight, for both president and vice president.

Of the past 50 years, elected presidents have been mostly former vice-presidents (Bush 41, Ford, Nixon, Johnson) or governors (Bush 43, Clinton, Reagan, Carter), and two senators (Obama, Kennedy).

In that same time span, there is a only a little more diversity when it comes to vice presidents. They were: standing senators (Biden, Gore, Quayle, Mondale, Humphrey, Johnson) and governors (Rockefeller, Agnew). Dick Cheney was a retired Secretary of Defense and George H.W. Bush was director of the CIA before they each became vice president.

Gerald Ford was actually a congressman from Michigan before becoming vice president, but he was not elected to the position, therefore he was not vetted with the intention of a popular vote.

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