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New Hampshire Governor: RFK Write-In Campaign to Continue

Mar. 6, 1964 - New Hampshire Governor John King said today that the “spontaneous combustion” of the write-in movement for Robert F. Kennedy for Vice President would “go forward.” Mr. Kennedy tried yesterday to squelch the campaign that some Democrats in New Hampshire believe may bring him more votes than President Johnson in the state’s primary on Tuesday. Neither man is on the ballot, but Democratic officials are urging write-ins for both.

“This write-in movement that is the product of spontaneous combustion has grown to such proportions,” Gov. King said, “that to try to stop it at this late date would be like trying to stop a forest fire in a matter of minutes.”

The Governor termed Mr. Kennedy’s disavowal of the campaign “natural and proper.” But he rejected the idea that the write-in movement might put unwelcome pressure on Mr. Johnson to choose the Attorney General as his running mate.

“New Hampshire Democrats have no desire nor intention of embarrassing President Johnson,” the Governor said, “and they certainly respect the fact that the prerogative of choosing a Vice-Presidential candidate is essentially that of the Presidential nominee. But New Hampshire voters have to express their sentiments and elect their convention delegates now, despite what may happen in August. Our expressions may be untimely, but we have only one opportunity to voice them.”

New Hampshire Democrats, Mr. King said, “recall the strength of the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960 and feel a Johnson-Kennedy ticket in 1964 will be equally strong.”

The Governor paid tribute to Mr. Johnson, and his statement urged write-in votes for the President too. But when the Governor originally endorsed the write-in campaign Feb. 28, it was with only passing mention of the President.


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