H. Joel Deckard

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H. Joel Deckard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byDavid L. Cornwell
Succeeded byFrank McCloskey
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 73rd district
In office
November 8, 1972 – November 6, 1974
Succeeded byLindel Hume[1]
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 38th district
In office
November 9, 1966 – November 8, 1972
Succeeded byLeo A. Voisard[2]
Personal details
Huey Joel Deckard

(1942-03-07)March 7, 1942
Vandalia, Illinois
DiedSeptember 6, 2016(2016-09-06) (aged 74)
McKinney, Texas
Political partyRepublican, Reform Party
SpouseJennie Redman
Childrenone daughter
Alma materUniversity of Evansville
Professiontelevision executive
Military service
Branch/serviceNational Guard
Years of service1966 to 1982

Huey Joel Deckard (March 7, 1942 – September 6, 2016) was an American businessman and politician who served two terms as a U.S. Representative from Indiana from 1979 to 1983.

Early life and career

Born in Vandalia, Illinois, Deckard attended public schools in Mount Vernon, Indiana. He attended the University of Evansville from 1962 to 1967, and served in the Indiana National Guard from 1966 to 1972.

Deckard was affiliated with broadcasting stations in southern Illinois and Indiana from 1959 to 1972. He was a cable television executive and legislative liaison for the Illinois-Indiana TV Association from 1974 to 1977. Deckard also formed a corporation involved in design and construction of energy-efficient and solar-heated homes and offices.

He served as member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1966 to 1974.


Deckard with President Ronald Reagan in 1981

Deckard was elected as a Republican to the Ninety-sixth and to the Ninety-seventh Congresses (January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1983). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1982 to the Ninety-eighth Congress, losing to then-Bloomington mayor Frank McCloskey. Initially favored for reelection to a third term, Deckard was involved in an automobile accident three weeks before the election. He refused to take a blood test and was charged with driving under the influence. McCloskey sought to tie Deckard to President Ronald Reagan at a time of high unemployment in the district. When McCloskey defeated Deckard, Deckard became the sixth incumbent from 1966 to 1982 to lose reelection in the district known as the "Bloody Eighth."

Later career and death

Deckard ultimately moved to Florida, where he became a computer technical specialist for Citibank in Tallahassee. A supporter of Pat Buchanan, he was the Reform Party's nominee for U.S. Senator in 2000. Deckard's 17,338 votes, only 0.30% of the total votes cast, became the subject of statistical analysis by critics of the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach county.[3]

He lived in Little Elm, Texas, in his retirement.[4] He died of an apparent heart attack on September 6, 2016, at a hospital in McKinney, Texas.[5]


  1. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Palm Beach County Report" (PDF).
  4. ^ "H. Joel Deckard's Obituary on Courier Press". Courier Press.
  5. ^ Associated Press. "Former Indiana Congressman Joel Deckard dies at 74".
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by United States Representative for the 8th District of Indiana
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Reform Party nominee for United States Senator from Florida
(class 1)

2000 (lost)
Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress