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James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served for 48 years as a United States Senator. He also ran for the Presidency of the United States in 1948 as the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) candidate, receiving 2.4% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes. Thurmond represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 until 2003, at first as a Democrat and, after 1964. as a Republican. He switched because of his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, disaffection with the national party, and support for the conservatism of the Republican presidential candidate and Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. He left office as the only senator to reach the age of 100 while still in office and as the oldest-serving and longest-serving senator in U.S. history (although he was later surpassed in the latter by Robert Byrd). Thurmond holds the record at 14 years as the longest-serving Dean of the United States Senate in U.S. history.