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Campaign Files, 1962 (First Senate campaign -- lost to Olin D. Johnston in the Democratic Primary)


Campaign for U.S. Senate, 1962

In 1962, fresh from his term as governor, Hollings challenged three-term U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnston in the Democratic primary. Hollings knew he would have to ―out-hustle‖ Johnston to make his case to the voters, as he discusses in Making Government Work. Well before the election in December 1961, South Carolina journalist Charles Wickenberg noted, ―Both Johnston and Hollings act like the election is tomorrow. Both are beating the bushes, talking at the drop of an invitation. South Carolina has never seen anything like this before.‖ In the end, Hollings carried only Calhoun County. Though he was unsuccessful in this effort, he ultimately would win the seat in 1966 following Johnston's untimely death in office.

Four feet of material document this campaign. Of particular interest in the General file is a document listing the two opponents' respective strengths and likely strategies, and a preliminary timetable for the Hollings campaign. Also included are letters from supporters suggesting political strategy and interoffice memos between the candidate and campaign manager (and state senator) James Waddell of Beaufort concerning scheduling and important contacts to be made. Campaign organization files contain extensive records of the operation of the Hollings Senate campaign. Included among the organization files are lists of and correspondence to county campaign leaders (managers, women, youth, and farm organization chairmen), and records of the headquarters office personnel. Correspondence includes good luck messages and condolences from the governor's supporters, and thank you and other brief notes from Hollings. At right, ―Dollars for Hollings‖ was a fundraising effort for the campaign.

Files on Olin Johnston contain the campaign's opposition research and are a sizable portion of the 1962 election records. Much of the research was done by an assistant to Frank van der Linden, the Washington correspondent for the Greenville News. Included is material on the Impostato case (in which Johnston sponsored a bill to prevent the deportation of a reputed drug dealer), Johnston's ties to organized labor and his opposition to right-to-work legislation, the senator's chairmanship of the Post Office and Civil Service committee (particularly a case involving the reinstatement of a black mail carrier in Savannah), and ratings by various organizations of Johnston's voting record.

Publicity files mainly concern a two-hour question-and-answer telethon which aired in late May, 1962, and includes lists of anticipated questions and actual questions received on the night of the broadcast. Additional records concern the purchase of television time for political programs. Topical files primarily contain background research on various issues. Prominent among those issues are Hollings' record regarding industrial recruitment and economic development, labor and the governor's stand in favor of right-to-work laws, agricultural concerns, and Hollings' opposition to the Kennedy administration health insurance bill.


  • 1962 (First Senate campaign -- lost to Olin D. Johnston in the Democratic Primary)


From the Collection: 800 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