Newspaper Articles


Charleston Daily Mail
April 8, 1960

Sen. Humphrey Campaign Gets Big Start Here

By Tom Cummings
Of The Daily Mail Staff

Sen. Hubert Humphrey went on a hand shaking tour of Charleston and southern West Virginia today in a bid for votes in West Virginia’s Democratic Presidential popularity contest on May 10.

No one will know how many times the Minnesotan will repeat the phrase, “I’m Sen. Humphrey … glad to see you,” nor will any count be taken of the number of Humphrey campaign buttons he will pin on Mountain State voters.

But thousands will remember the 49-year-old presidential hopeful before he leaves the state Monday night following a chartered bus tour of the state’s depressed coal field areas and bustling industrial sections.

Accompanied by a party of 15 which included campaign aides and news representatives, Sen. Humphrey began his closely arranged schedule 15 minutes late, but managed after a few hours to make up most of the lost time.

He had arrived in Charleston only three hours before starting on the campaign grind at 6:30 a. m.

At his first stop in the sprawling Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co. plant in Kanawha City, Sen. Humphrey sought out workers.

He appeared to be considerably cheered when someone mentioned “they’re about 90 per cent Democrats in this plant.” In small groups, on transfer trucks, at work benches, near cutting tables, Sen. Humphrey extended his hand in greeting. Behind him walked aides with bundles of campaign literature they scattered like seeds.

When one worker remarked about his “sharp” appearance so early in the morning, Humphrey replied “appearances are deceiving.”

Sen. Humphrey said the L-O-F plant was the second of its kind he had ever visited and added, “it’s a fascinating thing.”

He seemed impressed when plant executives showed him the new $3,000,000 production unit now under construction. This 300 x 75 unit will be finished by next September.

In the plant alone the senator shook an estimated 500 hands. He had missed workers on the midnight shift because his bus didn’t reach the plant until 14 minutes after this group had checked out.

Another Humphrey

The senator took a great deal of delight in meeting another Humphrey – J. S. by name – who has been in the factory’s carton-making department for 23 years.

The “Humphrey for President” banner on the side of the bus identified it from the others that passed along the way. Making the trip in his own car was a congressional associate, Ken Hechler of Huntington.

Humphrey and Sen. John F. Kennedy are in the May 10 West Virginia Presidential primary. In the first contest for convention delegate support – staged earlier this week in Wisconsin – Humprey won only 10 of that state’s 30-member delegation.

West Virginia delegates are not instructed or committed. It will be a battle for popularity between Humphrey and Kennedy next month.

“If I lose West Virginia, I won’t be killed off,” Humphrey commented as he began his tour. But he added, “I sure would be maimed.”

The senator showed no qualms about the anticipated result as he sought out new friends on behalf of his candidacy.

Competition Stressed

When the talk turned toward competition, plant manager A. W. Swillinger told the senator his company was having its troubles from foreign competition. This was particularly true, now that imported glass comes directly to the Midwest by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway. He said Sen. Humphrey offered no comforting answer.

From the L-O-F plant, the Humphrey bus went to Marmet where a stop for breakfast was made. Short stops followed at Chesapeake, Chelyan, East Bank and communities along the coal-producing Cabin Creek section.

Before reaching Beckley tonight, where he has scheduled a major speaking appearance, Sen. Humphrey will have made two dozen stops. Tomorrow he will visit Summers and Mercer County and then return to Charleston by way of Madison, Boone County.

After resting Sunday, Sen. Humphrey goes to Logan, Williamson, Welch, Bluefield and towns in between.

Sen. Kennedy comes into West Virginia Monday for a flying campaign trip – stopping at Charleston, Huntington, Beckley and Parkersburg. Meanwhile, he will have Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt touring some counties on his behalf.

Sen. Kennedy as he began his own tour, expressed confidence he would beat Sen. Kennedy [sic] in this state. He expressed only a small amount of disappointment about tailing his opponent by 100,000 votes in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary.

“Time is on my side,” he observed.


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