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Parkersburg Sentinel
April 30, 1960

Minnesota Governor Holds Press Conference

Religious Issue Is Deplored by Freeman

“Senator Humphrey, without a doubt would make the best president, and he has the best chance of beating Richard Nixon of any of the candidates for the nomination in the Democratic field,” Gov. Orville Freeman, Minnesota, stated this morning at a press conference at the Chancellor Hotel.

Gov. Freeman deplored the religious issue that has entered the party’s primary and said he hoped and believed that the “good sensible American people will relegate this to its proper place.”

He implied that it is the national column writers who have “whipped up this emotional issue and kept it going.”

“I have confidence in the common business man and farmer and their level thinking. I think that many of the West Virginia delegates have not made up their minds as to whom they will vote for at the national convention, and this is true also of many of the Democratic political leaders. They want an able man for the nominee, one who has ability and can win the November election.

“The West Virginia primary election is important and is being watched nationally,” he stated.

In further commenting Gov. Freeman stated that Senator John Kennedy, Humphrey’s opponent, has more money and a larger staff. “This we cannot afford, so we have to work harder.”

Addressing a group of labor leaders at an early breakfast this morning, Gov. Freeman said that American’s organized working men and women will have less and less voice in public policy, if they fail to support men in public life who have supported them.

Further speaking on behalf of Humphrey, whose friendship dates back to when they were students at the University of Minnesota, he said:

“Look at the record, out of 214 votes listed by the AFL-CIO’s COPE research bureau since Senator Humphrey has been in Congress, he is listed as being right on 213. That is quite a record.[“]

The Minnesota governor suggested that labor “vote for the man who votes for you.”

Gov. Freeman, accompanied by his attractive young wife, arrived in West Virginia Wednesday night, making several appearances in the Charleston area before coming here last night.

The governor said that he believes Humphrey’s chances of winning the West Virginia primary are increasing daily, but added he looks for a “nip-and-tuck” race.

Freeman said he believes the Democratic Convention would be especially inclined to go for Humphrey if as convention time Vice President Nixon “is running strong” on the Republican side.

--“This talk that Humphrey came into West Virginia just to stop Kennedy is a lot of unadulterated nonsense.”

--“A lot of people are trying to make Adlai Stevenson a more serious contender whether he wants it or not.”

--“It’s quite clear that Kennedy benefited from a long, concentrated and skillful buildup over the past three years” in Pennsylvania where he received a record write-in vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

--He “can’t foresee” Humphrey agreeing to becoming the vice presidential candidate if he fails to win the presidential nomination.

--Humphrey has demonstrated he is the favorite of farm and Negro voters.

--Nixon has the Republican nomination “bought, paid for and delivered” with “strong-arm tactics.”

--He will wait until after the National Convention before he decides on his political future. However, he made it fairly clear he’ll probably run for a fourth two-year term as governor if Humphrey runs for re-election to the Senate, and he’ll most likely run for Humphrey’s Senate seat if the latter is on the presidential ticket.

Gov. and Mrs. Freeman, accompanied by a delegation of party members from Wood and surrounding counties, left here about 11 o’clock for Ravenswood, where he was scheduled to speak. From there they went to Ripley, Spencer, Grantsville, Harrisville and Pennsboro, where he again spoke on behalf of his friend’s candidacy.

Gov. Freeman is scheduled as the principal speaker at a dinner meeting in Sistersville this evening at 6:30 o’clock.


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