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Campaign Records, 1968, Humphrey, Presidential

From the Sub-Series:

Campaign Records relate to West's 1954, 1966, and 1970 campaigns as well as the presidential campaigns of Hubert Humphrey, 1968; Jimmy Carter, 1976; and Michael Dukakis, 1988. There is also material pertaining to Marshall Parker‘s 1962 campaign for lieutenant governor. Campaign records are divided into General, Financial Records, Organization Files, Publicity, and Topical Files.

West's successful campaign for Lieutenant Governor is well documented. General files consist chiefly of correspondence detailing support and opposition across South Carolina, discussions of campaign strategies, letters of congratulations, and correspondence between West and Earle E. Morris, Jr., Chairman of the state Democratic Party. Organization files contain correspondence between Harry Lightsey, West's campaign manager, and his county chairmen across the state and provide accounts of results by precinct. Included in these files are details of the county organizational structure of West's various volunteer and support groups. The publicity files contain correspondence between West, Lightsey, and the Bradham Advertising Agency exploring ideas and strategies for ad campaigns, as well as copy for television advertisements. The Marshall Mays Topical File contains brochures and other material from Mays's campaign, a biography, his 1960 legislative record, and correspondence concerning Mays' questionable involvement with the Pulp Paper Company. Of interest are Mays' allegations that West distributed campaign money from the National Democratic Party for Lyndon Johnson during his 1964 presidential campaign.

The 1968 Hubert Humphrey Presidential Campaign files chiefly consist of correspondence and campaign materials from both Humphrey‘s campaign and that of his rival for the Democratic nomination, Eugene McCarthy. West and Humphrey had a warm friendship, as documented by letters in the files, and West maintained his support for Humphrey throughout the campaign season.

West‘s 1970 gubernatorial campaign is also well documented. General files contain correspondence regarding current issues, campaign events, and suggestions for and assessments of the success of the campaign. Of particular interest are letters concerning the incident in Lamar, and a letter, February 24, 1970, from Hubert Humphrey, who wrote, "I hope and pray that your friendship with me will not be a political liability in your state." West replied on March 3: "My public support for you was the right thing to do and I will never feel other than proud of it."

Gubernatorial organization files contain information on county organization, chairman‘s manuals, and the state campaign organization. Also included is information about "South Carolinians for West," a group of West's supporters who allowed their names to be used in advertisements for West across the state; lists of volunteers; and voter registration comparisons. Of particular interest is correspondence from members of the Strategy Committee regarding West's and Watson's strengths and weaknesses. Press Releases contain announcements of West's campaign activities and excerpts from his speeches. Several were issued by West supporters. Schedules, August 1969 to November 1970, list the many campaign events in which West participated.

Topical Files concern subjects such as the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, textile imports, and school desegregation. Files also relate to West opponent Albert Watson and potential opponent Lester Bates. The Bates file includes analyses of his success as mayor of Columbia, Bates quotes, and his announcement of his decision not to run for governor. The Watson file contains newsletters, quotes, and information West requested on Watson's travel expenditures as a member of Congress.

Jimmy Carter‘s 1976 presidential campaign is documented by General files consisting chiefly of correspondence on the progress of the campaign, fundraising, and the shaping of Carter‘s foreign policy positions. Beginning in 1975 West worked actively in Carter‘s campaign. While leading the 1976 South Carolina trade mission to the Middle East, West collected campaign contributions for Carter. He also wrote Carter on May 10, 1976, with some observations about the region, concluding: "Since I feel the Mid-East will be one of the key areas of your concern when you are elected, I would like the opportunity of sitting down with your foreign policy advisors and giving them the information and ideas which we gleaned during our trip." As a result of his letter, West met with Cyrus Vance, who became Carter‘s Secretary of State, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who became National Security Advisor. He later worked closely with both men in his role as ambassador.

Carter Campaign Topical Files consist of appointment and talent files containing West's recommendations for positions within Carter's administration. The appointment file contains the recommendations of those candidates who Carter chose for a position. The talent files contain West's recommendations of unsuccessful candidates. Among those recommended by West was Marshall Mays, his former opponent in the lieutenant governor‘s race. Despite some contentious exchanges during the race, West and Mays were able to remain on friendly terms afterwards, with West suggesting to Carter that Mays be retained as leader of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. West wrote that "Both before and after that election I have considered him to be a gentleman and a friend." Mays returned the favor by writing the State Department in 1977 to support West‘s nomination as ambassador.

Michael Dukakis‘ 1988 presidential campaign file chiefly regards West's fund-raising efforts on behalf of Michael Dukakis.


  • 1968, Humphrey, Presidential


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From the Collection: 52.5 Linear Feet


Repository Details

Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA