Newspaper Articles

Fairmont Times
April 8, 1960

FDR Jr. Talk Opens Drive For Kennedy

Dinner at Monongah Will Kick Off Presidential Campaign in State

A whirlwind campaign in behalf of U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy for the Democratic presidential nomination will be launched in Marion County tonight when former Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. speaks in his behalf at a dinner meeting in the Monongah Town Hall.

All 230 tickets for the dinner, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., have been sold and loud speakers will be erected so that others may hear the son of the late President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaign in behalf of his old friend from Massachusetts.

Tonight's dinner will be one of the first events in a long series planned at an organizational meeting of representatives from 16 counties held late Wednesday night in Clarksburg. Robert F. Kennedy, counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee, flew in from Charleston and met leaders of the Kennedy-for-President movement.

"We realize the importance of the presidential preferential primary in West Virginia," Kennedy said, "and we are going to put on a real campaign. The whole Kennedy family and all its cousins will be here before the primary."

Lending support to his statement was the announcement last night from Joseph P. Seccuro, co-chairman of the Kennedy drive in Marion County, that another brother of the senator, Ted, will be in Fairmont Monday to help organize for the campaign. Seccuro said he would welcome volunteer workers for the Massachusetts senator and asked that they communicate with him.

Bob Kennedy told the group in Clarksburg that the "eyes of the world" will be on West Virginia. He expressed confidence that if his brother can put a sweeping victory in this state on top of those he has scored in New Hampshire and Wisconsin, he will be the Democratic nominee for President.

The kickoff dinner tonight will be preceded by a parade through Monongah forming at Urban's Store. Roosevelt and his party will be escorted from Clarksburg and will join the parade on U.S. 19.

The Holy Rosary Society will serve the dinner in the community building and A. James Manchin, member of the state Young Democratic executive committee, will introduce the speaker. A fireworks display will follow the affair.

An intensive campaign to enlist support for Kennedy is planned during the weeks between now and the primary election, spokesmen for the organization said last night. This county is expected to be one of the focal points of a drive that the senator's brother said would be almost unprecedented in West Virginia political annals.

About 150 persons were present to greet Kennedy when he arrived from Charleston, tired from a 36-hour period without sleeping as he came to West Virginia directly from Wisconsin. He went to a hotel room to refresh himself and 15 minutes later appeared for a lengthy conference with the delegations from Northern West Virginia counties.

Meanwhile backers of Humphrey, who will tour Southern West Virginia next week, are confident that he will be the winner in the West Virginia primary. They will open a Northern West Virginia headquarters in a few weeks.

Humphrey will be here for a dinner address April 25, one week after Kennedy makes a personal campaign visit to Fairmont.

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