Joseph Carlton Loser (October 11, 1892-July 31, 1984) was a Nashville, Tennessee Democratic politician.
Loser (the name is pronounced "low-ser") was born in Davidson County, Tennessee. He attended public schools and the former YMCA Law School (now Nashville School of Law). He was secretary to the mayor of Nashville from 1917 to 1920 and was admitted to the bar in 1922. In 1923 he completed the requirements for the LL. B. degree at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, becoming assistant city attorney for Nashville the same year.
In 1929 Loser became an assistant district attorney and in 1934 became district attorney for the former 10th Circuit, a position he would hold until 1956. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1944, 1956, and 1960.
In 1956, 5th District Congressman Percy Priest died a month before the election. A special primary was held to replace Priest on the ballot, and Loser won the nomination. This was tantamount to victory a month later, as no Republican had been elected to Congress from Nashville since Reconstruction. He was re-elected in 1958 and 1960.
In August, 1962 Loser had seemingly been renominated for a fourth term. However, an investigation into the primary election revealed serious irregularities. Loser's major opponent in this contest was Richard Fulton. However, it was largely the instigation of a minor candidate, iron worker and labor union activist Raymond Love, that caused a re-examination of the primary by the Nashville Tennessean. The Tennessean ran stories on its fron page indicating a pattern of serious voter fraud, and a lawsuit was filed. The amount of votes in question would not have in any event been adequate to have caused the election of Love, but could possibly have been enough to have thrown the election of Fulton. Love, stating that his only desire was one for a clean, honest election in any case, withdrew from the primary, which was rerun by court order. In the second primary, conducted under close scrutiny, Fulton defeated Loser decisively and went on to be elected that fall and to seven subsequent terms.
Loser withdrew from public life after his defeat.
Preceded by: Percy Priest Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 5th congressional district 1957-1963 Succeeded by: Richard Fulton