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Charles (Bud) Wilkinson to Run for Senate in Oklahoma

Feb. 5, 1964 - Charles (Bud) Wilkinson (left), the football coach, entered the race for the United States Senate in Oklahoma today. “I intend to win this race and keep on winning,” said the 47-year-old Republican. Asked if he planned to remain in politics permanently, he replied, “Yes, I am.”

Mr. Wilkinson has severed his ties with sports in the last month. He resigned at 17 seasons as the University of Oklahoma’s coach and athletic director, then left as adviser to the National Council on Physical Fitness. The latter is a nonsalaried post he received in 1961 from President Kennedy.

Republican leaders had been urging Mr. Wilkinson to enter politics, reportedly in the belief that he is the party’s best hope of capturing the Senate seat held by J. Howard Edmondson, a Democrat. Observers rate Mr. Wilkinson the favorite to win the nomination, but other Republican candidates have pledged they are in the race to stay. Mr. Wilkinson changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican last week. At a news conference in his hotel room in Oklahoma City, Mr. Wilkinson indicated he would campaign as a conservative.


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