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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Herring certified as winner in Virginia attorney general's race (41 comments)

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  •  1960s Democratic sweep in VA was no sweep (14+ / 0-)

    at least not one we would ever support here.

    One US Senator was Harry F. Byrd, Jr., the son of the notorious segregationist supporter of Massive Resistance to court-ordered (or any other) school desegregation.

    The Governor was Mills E. Godwin, Jr., who while in the Virginia legislature was one of the leaders of Massive Resistance. Godwin had tried to moderate his image, and actually had a pretty decent term as governor, but by 1973 he had become a Republican as part of Nixon's Southern Strategy, got re-elected as governor, and had an absolutely awful second term.

    The Attorney General was Robert Y. Button, who had also supported Massive Resistance while in the Virginia legislature; as AG he defended closing schools to avoid integration.

    The Lt. Governor was Fred G. Pollard, who had NOT supported Massive Resistance in the legislature, but was very conservative on almost everything else. He would be the Byrd Organization's candidate for governor in 1969 and would lose a three way primary that included a liberal, Henry Howell, and a moderate, Bill Battle. (The moderate won, only to lose to a moderate Republican, Linwood Holton, in the general election.) Pollard would then run in a special election for a state Senate seat and lose to L. Douglas Wilder, later Governor.

    The other US Senator was William Spong, a moderate Democrat and the only one of the five that any of us here would support. He would lose his re-election campaign in the McGovern disaster of 1972.

    Only twice ever has a Progressive or even a Moderate Democrat won election as governor of Virginia while a Democrat was in the White House: Westmoreland Davis in 1917, and James H. Price in 1937. Until 2013.

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