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John Tower spent 24 years in the U. S. Senate, serving on and chairing very influential and powerful committees. Some would say that he quietly edged into Texas politics when he won the senatorial seat which would make him the first Republican senator elected in Texas since Reconstruction. Heavily committed to the Republican Party thereafter, Tower worked tirelessly for local and national candidates, finally positioning him for a U.S. Senate seat to replace LBJ in 1961. His win and subsequent service is hailed as the arrival of two-party politics in Texas. While in the Senate, he was widely respected for his skillful ability to guide legislation through Congress, showing special concern for issues important to Texas, such as small business expansion, agricultural prosperity, and protection of the energy industry. However, he also became a national figure when he accepted the Chairmanship of the President’s Special Review Board to study the NSC’s actions during the Iran-Contra Affair, which would become known as the “Tower Commission.”