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Raleigh Register
April 27, 1960

To Vote On Mine Safety Bill

Kennedy Interrupts Campaign Schedule

By Herb Little

Hardly had Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) wiped the coal dust from his face after probing a West Virginia mine than he said he would interrupt his campaigning today long enough to fly back to Washington to vote on a mine safety bill.

The Senate is considering a measure that would extend the “police powers” of the U.S. Bureau of Mines to workings of less than 15 men.

Republican critics have scored Kennedy in West Virginia, saying he could do more good at his desk in Washington for the state’s problems than talking about them here.

Kennedy arrived in Bluefield, a business center for the southern West Virginia coal fields, last night after two days of touring mining camps and towns.

He spoke at Bluefield State College this morning then moved northeast for a change of scenery out of the rugged coal region, into the lush Greenbrier Valley along the Virginia border.

But his tour was to break off sometime after a noon appearance in Hinton, a railroad center. Kennedy planned to fly then to Washington and turn the hand shaking for the time being, over to his brother Ted.

Kennedy is entered in West Virginia’s May 10 “popularity” primary against Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) They are seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

This was Kennedy’s last day in the state campaigning until the weekend. He plans to fly back from Washington after the Senate vote for a Eastern Panhandle rally tonight at Charles Town then leave again.

Staying behind in Bluefield to meet more people was Kennedy’s wife, Jackie, who had an afternoon appearance scheduled on local television.

Campaigning with Kennedy on the motor tour yesterday and introducing him at most stops was former Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. He said present unemployment conditions in southern West Virginia reminded him of 1932 when he was in the area with his late father.

Roosevelt said at Pineville that “after eight years of a great golfer in the White House, it’s high time that we had a fighting liberal Democrat.”

Speaking at stops in about a dozen mining communities, Kennedy continued to pound at the Eisenhower Administration for what he pictured as its unaction on West Virginia’s economic troubles.

“I wish President Eisenhower, after he has taken his trip to Japan this spring, would come down here to West Virginia and travel where I have traveled,” Kennedy said.


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