In 2010, Republican Bob Inglis lost his congressional seat to a Tea Party candidate because, among other things, he accepted climate change. Today, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation named Inglis the 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for political courage.
The foundation said in a statement:
"Inglis is being awarded this honor for the courage he demonstrated when reversing his position on climate change after extensive briefings with scientists, and discussions with his children, about the impact of atmospheric warming on our future.
"Knowing the potential consequences to his political career, Inglis nevertheless called on the United States to meaningfully address the issue. In June, 2010, Inglis lost his re-election to the U.S. Congress."
Inglis, a former South Carolina congressman, was first elected to Congress in 1992. He will receive the award on May 3 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
Inglis now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, which advocates a free-market approach to climate change. In a response posted on Twitter, he said: "It's thrilling — incredibly thrilling — to be selected for this year's" award.
The Profiles in Courage prize was awarded last year to President George H.W. Bush. Other past winners include President Gerald Ford and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, as well as former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.