West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

Howard Stackhouse works as a Democratic Senator for Minnesota.


Stackhouse, as of 2001, was a 5-term Minnesota Senator with 7 grandchildren. While campaigning, he would only take photographs with 6 of his grandchildren because the other one suffered from autism. According to a conversation between Leo and the President, Stackhouse's personal hero was Hubert Humphrey, like a Minnesota Democratic Senator.

When he tried to convince Josh Lyman to keep funds for early diagnosis of autism in a bill but was unsuccessful, he unexpectedly filibustered it. It wasn't until several hours in that it was realized why he did so, and President Bartlet had various other grandfather-Senators help him to stall the bill till it could be reworked.[1]

During the 2002 Presidential Election, early on he ran as a third-party candidate, however he convinced congressional leaders that he'd drop out of the race and endorse President Bartlet before the first debate. In a poll of likely voters, Stackhouse polled at about 4% in New York and California, and was only on the ballot in 27 other states. As promised, the morning after Red Mass he dropped out and endorsed President Bartlet.[2]

He is later mentioned in passing in Season 7 as one of a number of senior Democratics who had called President Bartlet expressing concern about state-by-state resource decisions Josh Lyman was making as manager of the Santos campaign.[3]


  • Senator from early 1970s - at least 2002
  • A legislator named Stackhouse was one of several legislators Chief of Staff Leo McGarry asked to send representatives to the White House when they were preparing to defend themselves on mandatory minimums. All of the legislators invited had family members who had somehow gotten out of a longer punishment for drug related crimes and favored more money going to sentencing, rather then treatment.[4]. Early in season 2 when Mark Gottfried of Capital Beat couldn't get Wengland to discuss the opposing view of the White House on a 1.5 billion education package, 'Stackhouse' was the second person they tried to get, but he was also unavailable.[5] However, in both these contexts 'Stackhouse' was indicated to be a conservative opponent of the White House - reuse of names for minor characters is common in The West Wing.


The Stackhouse Filibuster
The Red Mass
Game On

Notes and references[]

  1. The Stackhouse Filibuster
  2. The Red Mass
  3. BARTLET: "I've been getting some calls about Josh...Triplehorn, Nayak, Stackhouse, Montgomery" - The Wedding
  4. Mandatory Minimums
  5. In This White House

Ramsey (R) | Stackhouse (D)