James Garfield was not one of the top three contenders for the Repulican Candidate for President. However, following a long and drawn out Republican convention in 1880, Garfield, a former state senator and revered war general, was nominated after 36 rounds of voting, the Party's candidate for President. Garfield went on to win the popular vote by the narrowest of margins. After serving as President only a few months, President Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, a mentally ill and unsuccessful applicant for a Presidential appointment. President Garfield would likely have survived the shooting, except for the unsanitary practices of his physicians who refused to believe Lister's findings regarding germs and hygiene. Garfield's assassination marked the beginning of a new era in American politics and partisanship.
Ken Ackerman is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. Ackerman practices law in Washington at Olsson, Frank, Weeda Terman, & Matz PC. He served as legal counsel to two committees of the United States Senate: Governmental Affairs (1975-1981) under then-Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, and Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (1988-1993) under its then-Chairmen Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. During the administration of President Bill Clinton, he headed the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (1993-2001). Earlier, he held various legal positions at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has authored a number of books, including: "The Gold Ring", "Dark Horse", "Boss Tweed", and
"Young J. Edgar".