Newspaper Articles


Charleston Gazette
February 6, 1960

Flies in to File

Kennedy Enters W. Va. Primary

Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts formally entered the West Virginia primary early today, making this one of the major battlegrounds of the 1960 Democratic presidential campaign.

Earlier, Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota entered the West Virginia primary. He paid his $1,000 filing fee through an aid who flew here from Washington to file the necessary papers with the secretary of state.

Kennedy flew in from Indiana, in a plane he uses for speedy movement around the country, to file personally with Secretary of State Joe F. Burdett.

At Terra Haute, Ind., Kennedy, after announcing he would enter the Indiana primary, said:

“I really don’t see how any candidate can go to Los Angeles and expect to get the support of Indiana on the second ballot if he didn’t care enough to enter the primary.”

Burdette [sic] kept his office open here purposely for the Kennedy filing. The presidential hopeful arrived at approximately 12:30 a. m. at Kanawha Airport and was at Burdett’s office about 15 minutes later.

Within an hour he was en route West again for another speaking engagement today.

Kennedy and Humphrey are the only presidential candidates to enter the West Virginia primary. There is little chance that anybody else will get into the race, unless it is a relative unknown who hasn’t made his plans known.

In the primary eight years ago—last time there was a presidential race in this state—Republicans Robert Taft and Harold Stassen ran against each other. Dwight Eisenhower, then a general, was nominated at the GOP convention a few weeks later in Chicago.

The 1960 presidential campaign took a new turn Friday when Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) bowed out of the race. He said in Albuquerque, N. M.:

“I will not seek the nomination.”

Johnson was in Albuquerque for a western Democratic conference. Sen. Humphrey is scheduled to speak there today and Sen. Kennedy on Sunday.

This morning’s brief visit by Kennedy to Charleston was his first appearance in West Virginia since he addressed an overflow meeting of Democrats at the Civic Center last fall. Earlier that day he visited the Northern Panhandle.

Kennedy has visited West Virginia on several occasions in the last two years, the last visit before Charleston being at a Democratic meeting in Welch.

Sen. Humphrey also has shown special interest in the West Virginia vote. He was in Charleston last month to address the Legislature, in Beckley for a Democratic meeting in November, and in Charleston in March of last year.

The Democratic primary is on May 8 [sic] and the last moment for filing, midnight tonight.

Vice President Richard M. Nixon, the only known candidate for the Republican nomination, is not expected to enter the West Virginia primary.


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