Charles Stenholm was a United States House of Representatives member for more than a quarter-century. He was elected to Congress from the 17th District of Texas. At the time, the District was located in the Abilene region.

Stenholm was a member of the Democratic Party. On two occasions, he was the chairman of the famed Blue Dog Coalition. In the past, the coalition was the top caucus for moderate House Democrats. However, in more recent years, that distinction has swung to the New Democrat Coalition. Stenholm's legacy is now something that historians can compare and comment upon.

Passed away on May 17, 2023

Charles Stenholm has died, according to CW39 and Farm Progress. He was 84 years old. The exact cause of Stenholm's death was not initially released to the public. But early indicators were that it happened suddenly.

Statements from several high-profile figures remembering Stenholm would be released after his passing. Among them was one from Maryland U.S. Representative and former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer called him "a devoted public servant, a good friend." Stenholm was "one of the best" U.S. representatives he has worked with.

Stenholm was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. Controversial longtime Democratic incumbent Omar Burleson was not running for re-election.

Burleson had previously been chairman of the House Administration Committee. Stenholm would be elected to another 12 terms in the House.

He would eventually become the ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture. Stenholm was also among the bloc of House Democrats to vote in favor of impeaching Democratic U.S. President Bill Clinton.

In 2004, re-districting had led to Stenholm running in either the 13th or 19th Districts of Texas. Either way, he would've been an underdog versus a Republican incumbent. Stenholm opted to run in the 19th District. As expected, he lost to Republican U.S. Representative Randy Neugebauer.

After leaving Congress, Stenholm was considered a possible nominee as U.S.

agriculture secretary by Republican President George W. Bush. In the end, Bush nominated Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns for the position.

Was a grandson of Swedish immigrants

Charles Stenholm was a native of Ericksdahl, Texas. He would graduate from high school in nearby Stamford. Afterward, Stenholm attended what was then Tarleton State College. Eventually, he earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from what is now Texas Tech University.

Following his political career, Stenholm became a lobbyist with the law firm Olsson Frank Weeda. Eventually, he joined the faculty of one of his alma maters, which had become Tarleton State University by then.