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Don Fowler, Democratic co-chair under Clinton, dies at 85

Mr Fowler also found himself championing a plan to attract potential donors with a variety of perks in return for their dollars, including dinners with the Clintons, private meetings with administration officials, the participation in “thematic retreats” and “guest of honor” status at the party’s 1996 convention in Chicago. In an editorial, The New York Times called the plan “shabby.”

In 1996, Mr. Fowler managed to postpone a lawsuit brought by fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for the fifth time. He filed a complaint after Mr Fowler ordered states parties to disregard votes for him. Mr. Fowler had called Mr. LaRouche’s views “explicitly racist and anti-Semitic” and accused him of defrauding donors and voters. Mr. LaRouche was not, he says, “a bona fide Democrat.”

Donald Lionel Fowler was born September 12, 1935 in Spartanburg, SC. He earned a degree in psychology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, where he was a star basketball player; he was then inducted into its Hall of Fame. He received a master’s degree and a doctorate in political science from the University of Kentucky.

While holding his political posts and running an advertising and public relations company in Colombia, he taught political science for five decades at the University of South Carolina as well as at Citadel, the military university of Carolina from South.

His first wife, Septima (Briggs) Fowler, with whom he had two children, died in 1997. In 2005, Mr. Fowler married Carol Khare. They had worked together on the Democratic National Committee and in its communications company. Carol Fowler became President of the State Party in 2007.

Complete information on the survivors was not immediately available.

This year, the home of the Fowlers in the Five Points area of ​​Columbia, the state capital, has become a regular stop for many Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination as Caroline’s primaries approach. South in February. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Bill de Blasio were among those who introduced themselves as dozens of people crammed into the Fowlers’ living room.

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, House Majority Whip and frequent guest speaker in Mr. Fowler’s classes, told South Carolina newspaper The State: “Don has always been the connector, the one who brought together political friends and, sometimes, enemies.

The New York Times contributed reporting.