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By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune journalist

Former U.S. Representative Carroll Hubbard Jr. of Mayfield, who served in Congress from 1975 to 1993, unsuccessfully ran for governor in 1979 and encountered several scandals, died Saturday night at the Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah. He was 85 years old.

Hubbard, a lawyer, “really enjoyed the political arena and in his early years was a very good congressman,” said former Gov. Julian Carroll.

“Then he wished for a higher political position and then had a tougher time. However, he always worked hard for his district and its people.

Carroll Hubbard

Hubbard lost his bid for re-election to Congress in 1992 to Tom Barlow after he and several other Representatives became embroiled in the House banking scandal dubbed “Rubbergate.”

Hubbard pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws and was in prison from 1995 to 1997.

His then-wife, Carol Brown Hubbard, was convicted of using her congressional aides to work on her failed campaign for Congress. She served five years of probation.

Hubbard then made bids for the Kentucky Senate and House without success. In recent years, it has changed its political party registration from Democrat to Republican.

In 2020, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously granted Hubbard’s motion to resign as a lawyer under the terms of the permanent disbarment.

The Courier Journal reported in February 2020 that Hubbard, whose license to practice law had been suspended for 60 days for lying under oath when he denied calling opposing counsel and his wife “pitiful, fat, and ugly”, had practiced without a licence.

The court said Hubbard could have been reinstated but did not file a timely notice that he had complied with the terms of his suspension. The court also said he failed to meet continuing education requirements.

Hubbard was the subject of a new complaint in March 2020 for practicing a felony case while suspended and moved for disbarment rather than contesting the complaint.

The Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously granted his motion to resign under the terms of the permanent disbarment.

Hubbard was born on July 7, 1937, in Paducah to Carroll Hubbard Sr., a Baptist pastor, and Beth Hubbard, an elementary school teacher.

After spending several years in Beaver Dam and Ashland, Hubbard moved in 1953 to Louisville, where his father became pastor of St. Matthews Baptist Church. Hubbard graduated from Eastern High School in 1955.

At Georgetown College, Hubbard became editor of the Georgetonian, the college’s weekly newspaper. After earning a degree in sociology from Georgetown College in 1959, Hubbard attended law school at the University of Louisville, where he received a full scholarship. While in law school, Hubbard became active in politics, serving as youth chair for several statewide campaigns.

In July 1960, Hubbard was a member of the Kentucky state delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California as an alternate delegate.
There he witnessed the nomination of John F. Kennedy as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. In January 1961, Hubbard made his first trip to Washington, DC, to attend President Kennedy’s inauguration.

After graduating from law school in 1962, Hubbard served in the Kentucky Air National Guard and moved to Mayfield, where he practiced law for several years.

In 1967, Hubbard defeated incumbent state senator George Brand to be elected to the state senate. At 30, Hubbard was the youngest member of the state senate at that time. He continued to serve in the Kentucky State Senate until 1974.

In May 1974, Hubbard defeated incumbent U.S. Representative Frank Stubblefield in the Democratic primary to represent Kentucky’s First District in the United States Congress. Hubbard won the November 1974 general election and began serving in Congress in January 1975.

As one of 75 freshmen in the 94th Congress, Hubbard was elected president of this large freshman class of new U.S. Representatives. He served the people of Kentucky’s First District for 18 years in Washington, D.C.

While in Congress, Hubbard served as a member of the House Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs Committee and the House Shipping and Fisheries Committee.

In addition to his office at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, Hubbard maintained district offices in Madisonville, Henderson, Hopkinsville, and Paducah, Kentucky and returned to Kentucky from Washington almost every weekend.

Correspondence with district voters also took up a lot of Hubbard’s time during his days in Congress. In this era before email and social media, Hubbard personally signed and sent literally hundreds of thousands of letters, newsletters, calendars and Christmas cards to the citizens of Western Kentucky.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Mayfield Graves County Tornado Relief Fund.

Visitation and funeral services will be held at Byrn’s Funeral Home in Mayfield on a date to be determined.

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