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Glenn Pulls Out of Ohio Senate Race

Mar. 30, 1964 - Astronaut John Glenn announced from his hospital bed today that he was pulling out of the Senate race in Ohio. The former astronaut said his slow recovery from a severe head injury barred an active campaign and that he did not think it fair to ask “the people of Ohio to vote for a name.” It was a “difficult decision” for the 42-year-old marine, who had orbited the Earth and flown in two wars without injury only to injury his head in a bathroom fall in his Columbus, Ohio, apartment last Feb. 26.

The announcement broke off a contest for the Democratic nomination between Glenn and the peppery incumbent Senator, 74-year-old Stephen Young. The primary is set for May 5.

Glenn told newsmen that he had no immediate plans other than to speed his recovery. He said he did not know if he would stay in the Marines or try politics at a future date.

The veteran flier, the first American to make an orbital trip, made his decision to withdraw after receiving a detailed report on his physical status and prospects from a panel of doctors. They strongly recommended that he drop any plans for the next few months in order to facilitate full recovery from the injury to his left inner ear.

Damage to this sense-of-balance mechanism resulted in his experiencing a combination of dizziness, nausea, and a ringing noise when moving about. The symptoms have been receding slowly, but he still has a long way to go, as evidenced by the deliberation with which he turned his head and handled a clipboard as he conducted the news conference propped up in bed.


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