Walter R. Tucker III (May 28, 1957-) is a US Democratic politician from California.
Tucker was born in Compton, California and was scion to a political dynasty known as the "Kennedys of Compton". He is the son of Walter R. Tucker, Jr., a dentist who was Mayor of Compton. He finished Compton Senior High School as class valedictorian and attended Princeton University1974-1976, then the University of Southern California 1976-1978. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Law with a Juris Doctor, 1981; was admitted to the bar in 1984.
Tucker commenced the practice of law in Compton; deputy district attorney, Los Angeles County, 1984-1986. After his father died while still in office, the younger Tucker won a special election to replace him. He served from 1991 to 1992, during the civil unrest in Los Angeles County spawned by the Rodney King verdict, until he was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat. Tucker defeated the daughter of the retiring Rep. Mervyn Dymally. Like he did before, his younger brother Kenneth Tucker ran in a special election to replace him, but was unsuccessful, losing by the slimmest of margins in a hotly contested battle. For the first time in more than two decades a Tucker did not hold local political office in the City of Compton.
In Congress, Tucker served on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation and the House Small Business Committee. He held the respect and esteem of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his thoughtfulness on issues and his willingness to work with both parties. Tucker was an ordained minister who was known to give the occasional Sunday morning sermon while visiting a church in his congressional district or even host bible studies in his Capitol office. He introduced legislation promoting Random Acts of Kindness, opposed passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), fought to save the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, and worked to ensure the successful development of the Alameda Corridor Project. He also worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to secure federal funding to repair the long neglected Compton Creek, thus eliminating the possibility of costly flood damage to the homes and property on either side of the waterway.
Tucker boasted a young, energetic professional staff lead by his twenty-two year old Chief of Staff, Marcus Sebastian Mason, his District Administrator, Audrey Gibson (currently a member of the Florida Legislature representing Jacksonville) and Tyrone D. Bland (twenty-two), Director of Field Operations. Both Bland and Mason were natives of Tucker's hometown of Compton.
Tucker resigned from Congress on December 15, 1995 due to scandals involving accepting and demanding bribes while mayor of Compton. Tucker was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 1996 for extortion and tax evasion.
Tucker is currently the Pastor of a church in the greater Chicago-land area. He is married to Robin Marie and has two children, Walter Rayford, IV and Autumn.