Wiley K. Carter, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, was a longtime aide to Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran. Mr. Carter spent over 23 years as Senator Cochran's Administrative Assistant. A 1958 graduate of Mississippi State University, Mr. Carter began his political career with the Mississippi Democratic Party as an assistant to former Lt. Governor Carroll Gartin. He was also an assistant to former Representative John Bell Williams. In the 1960s, Mr. Carter was named the Assistant Director of what is now called the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development. In the early 1970s, Mr. Carter began his work with Senator Cochran, managing the Senator's successful re-election campaign to the U. S. House of Representatives in 1974. In 1978, he assistant in Cochran's successful election to the U. S. Senate. Mr. Carter spent the majority of his service to Senator Cochran working out of the Jackson office. He did, however, spend nine years at the Senator's Capitol Hill office in Washington, DC.
Wiley Carter was married to Gwen Carter, of Jackson, Mississippi and, together, they had three children, Craig, Scott, and Christy. Mr. Carter died of congestive heart failure in Jackson, Mississippi in September 1997. "Wiley Carter was a devoted public servant and political activist who conscientiously worked to help the people of our state," Senator Cochran stated after Mr. Carter's passing. Others who expressed their condolences to the Carter family were former Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice and former President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Wiley Carter was 61 years old. Prior to his death, in 1996, he donated his political papers to the Congressional and Political Research Center.