Issue One offers our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of former Senator William “Bill” Emerson Brock III as we remember his remarkable life. Senator Brock was a vital and active member of our ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition composed of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet officials advocating for solutions to fix our broken political system. He passed away last week at the age of 90.
Senator Brock had a remarkable life of service and embodied integrity through his commitment to the people of Tennessee and our country. He dedicated his life to public service, and his public career to growing the Republican Party. His distinguished 30 years of public service started as just a 30-year-old candidate for Congress to represent Southeast Tennessee. He went on to serve in both houses of Congress, chair the GOP after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, and work as the U.S. trade representative and secretary of the Labor Department under President Ronald Reagan.
During his time as chairman of the Republican National Committee in the wake of Watergate, Senator Brock strove to broaden the Republican Party’s outreach to unions, Black voters, and other constituencies. One of his most notable quotes as RNC chairman was his contention that Republicans “have to stop talking just to each other.”
Even after his 30 years of public service, Senator Brock was outspoken in support of nonpartisan efforts to improve the health of our democracy and the functioning of our government. During his time as a member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, Brock affirmed the need to reduce the undue influence of big money in politics and advocated for both parties to come together to fix the political system.
As we remember his exceptional life and legacy, we extend our support to all those who mourn the passing of Senator Brock.