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Richard Shelby

Richard Craig Shelby (born May 6, 1934) is the senior United States Senator from Alabama. He was a member of the Democratic Party until 1994, when he switched to the Republican Party, of which he is still a member. This move was politically important because he was already a Senator.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Shelby was a lawyer before entering politics. He practiced law in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, serving as city prosecutor from 1963 to 1971. He then entered politics, rising slowly but winning every election he tried. He was a member of the Alabama state senate from 1970 to 1978, a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1987 and a member of the United States Senate since 1986. He was reelected to the Senate in 1992 and for the first time as a Republican in 1998.