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Governor Rockefeller Announces Candidacy

Nov. 7, 1963 - Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York became the first in his party today to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. His long-expected entry into the race came with the reading of a 450-word statement in the Capitol at Albany. Mr. Rockefeller left immediately afterward by plane for New Hampshire to inaugurate his drive to win a slate of nominating convention delegates in the New Hampshire primary March 10. He said he would visit the state “many times” in the next four months and on each occasion discuss the issues. The 8:30 a.m. timing of the Governor’s first announcement enabled it to be carried over NBC’s nationwide “Today” program. Mrs. Rockefeller did not take part in the day’s activities, but the Governor said “Happy,” as she is known, would participate “very actively” in his New Hampshire campaign. The Governor’s first marriage of 31 years to the former Mary Todhunter Clark was terminated by divorce in March 1962. Vacationing Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) kept quiet today and let Rockefeller do the talking. Goldwater, undeclared but front-running in polls on the 1964 GOP nomination, was silent as Rockefeller formally entered the race. An aide relayed Goldwater’s “no comment.” Men close to the Senator said the Rockefeller declaration would not change Goldwater’s plans — which call for a yes or no decision sometime in January. This afternoon, Rockefeller declared that Goldwater was “out of the mainstream of American life” when the Senator advocated ending the graduated income tax, abolishing farm supports and foreign aid, and withdrawing from the United Nations.

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