Hampton Falls, New Hampshire , United States
|| October 13, 1915
|Died||January 06, 1981
|Last Modifed||Mr. Matt|
May 28, 2012 10:16am
|Info||POWELL, Wesley - New Hampshire politician. |
Attended schools in Portsmouth, graduated from the University of New Hampshire, and got his law degree at Southern Methodist College of Law (1940).
Legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Styles Bridges 1940-49
Married (Beverly Swain) in 1942
Military service in the Bomber Command, U.S. Army Air Corps, European Theater of Operations (1943/5). Powell was wounded and hospitalized for fourteen months; he was decorated for bravery.
In 1950 Powell returned to New Hampshire and established a law practice in Manchester and Hampton Falls.
Candidate for U.S. Senate nomination (R-NH) 1950. Resigned as Sen. Bridges's assistant and ran against Sen. Tobey in the primary, losing by 1,310 votes. Ran as an Independent in the 1950 general election but lost.
Powell tried again for the governor's office in 1956, losing in the Republican primary.
Governor (R-NH) 1959-1963. As governor Powell took "the pledge" against broad-based taxes, whether sales tax or income tax. He worked to achieve savings through consolidation of government agencies, and in 1961 he succeeded in revamping the Departments of Safety, Health and Welfare, and Resources and Economic Development. When Powell lost the 1962 Republican primary he endorsed Democrat John King in the general election, on condition that King would preserve his revamping of state agencies, and Powell's changes survive to the present day.
Powell also supported large-scale highway building and state aid to tourism and industry as ways to build the state's population. All these interests continue to be high on the list of any governor's priorities.