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CANDIDATES / BOB GRAHAM
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UPDATE: Bob Graham dropped out of the race on October 6, 2003.

Name: Daniel Robert Graham
Birth date: November 9, 1936
Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Florida, 1959; law degree, Harvard University, 1962
Career: Builder and rancher
Elected office Florida state representative, 1967-71; Florida state senator, 1971-79; governor, 1979-1987; U.S. senator, elected 1986
Family: Wife, Adele; four daughters; 10 grandchildren
Quote: "I represent the electable wing of the Democratic Party."
Related links external link
Senate Web site
 
Despite impressive background, Florida senator quits race

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Bob Graham has one claim to fame that any politician would envy -- he has never lost an election.

A former state legislator and two-term governor of Florida, Graham, a Democrat, is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate. And, before he dropped out on October 6, 2003, he was in his toughest race yet as he sought his party's presidential nomination in 2004.

Graham, 66, had counted on his tenure as the chief executive of one of the nation's largest and most politically pivotal states -- along with his foreign policy and intelligence experience cultivated in the Senate -- to make him stand out from the Democratic crowd.

Graham stressed his credentials when he formally declared his candidacy in May and said they would serve him well as president.

"As president, I will bring America back -- back to the values of our past and the promise of our future," Graham said at the time.

Politics at young age

A native Floridian, Graham was born into a prominent and wealthy family. His father, who owned a dairy outside Miami, was a state senator and ran unsuccessfully for governor. A half-brother --- the late Philip Graham --- was publisher of The Washington Post.

Bob Graham got his start in business developing family land into the planned community of Miami Lakes.

A graduate of the University of Florida and Harvard Law School, Graham turned to politics at a relatively young age. He first was elected to the state House in 1966 at age 30. From there, he moved onto the state Senate, and in 1978, he ran successfully for governor, winning re-election in 1982.

As governor, Graham made education and the environment priorities. On crime, he supports capital punishment.

He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1986, defeating Republican incumbent Paula Hawkins. In the Senate, Graham has a reputation as a moderate. As detailed in The Almanac of American Politics, Graham has supported means testing for Medicare and prescription drug coverage for senior citizens, and he favors a balanced budget amendment.

He has served as chairman of the Senate New Democrats, a group of moderates who work together on various fiscal and social initiatives. More recently, he has focused on intelligence matters, an interest he developed as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2001 to 2002.

Graham has emerged as a harsh critic of President Bush on intelligence matters, saying he is not doing enough for homeland security and that he has wrongly focused the nation's attention and resources on Iraq -- instead of al Qaeda and other terrorist networks.

"I am running for president to bring back a focus on America's security," Graham said in his May declaration of candidacy speech.

Reputation as moderate Democrat

Graham is famous for his "work days" on which he labors side by side with constituents about once a month. He started "work days" as a state senator in 1974, and his stints have included construction worker, fisherman, busboy, school principal and airport security screener.

The senator has a reputation as a cautious and deliberate politician. One habit that has gotten him notice is his maintenance of a diary in which he records his daily activities.

As senator, Graham has sported ties with images of the state of Florida on them. For his presidential campaign, Graham started wearing ties with a patriotic design.

His campaign got off to a delayed start because of heart surgery in January. He has since recovered.

Graham has been married for 44 years to the former Adele Khoury of Miami Shores. The couple has four grown daughters and 10 grandchildren.

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