Conservative activist Howard Phillips passed away on Saturday of complications of Alzheimer’s. He was 72.
Phillips was born and raised the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Rising through the ranks of the GOP, Phillips became Chairman of the Boston Republican Party in the 1960s.
In 1973, Phillips was appointed by President Nixon to head up the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) but resigned months later when Nixon would turn back the programs implemented by LBJ’s Great Society. Phillips would leave the GOP altogether the following year. Shortly thereafter he founded the Conservative Caucus where he would oppose both the Panama Canal and SALT II Treaties while supporting SDI.
Surprisingly, Phillips sought the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1978. However, he finished well back of Paul Tsongas who went on to beat Edward Brooke that November.
Phillips is credited for helping to establish the Moral Majority which was instrumental in Ronald Reagan’s election to the White House in 1980.
In the 1990s, Phillips dedicated his energies to the U.S. Constitution Party (which would later be renamed The Constitution Party). Phillips would run as its candidate for President in 1992, 1996 and 2000. In recent years, Phillips had extended his support to the presidential campaigns of Ron Paul until his health took a turn for the worse last year.
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