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Primary Competitor Says Nixon Cannot Win Gubernatorial Contest

May 23, 1962 - Richard M. Nixon cannot win the governorship of California, his rival in the Republican primary, Joseph C. Shell, declared today. “We cannot afford to hitch our fortunes to falling stars,” said Mr. Shell, leader of the Republican minority in the State Assembly. “Victory is our goal. The governorship of California is not a consolation prize.” The Republican candidate added: “This is a trip to Sacramento, not to Washington” and “Mr. Nixon has had very little experience in state government.” Mr. Shell, a conservative, said he was the only one who can beat Gov. Edmund G. Brown (right), a Democrat, in the November general election. The primary is June 5. Mr. Shell continued his attack by stating: “Nixon’s billboards read ‘Win With Nixon,’ but many Republicans have good reason to give that board a cynical stare.” In 1954 and 1958, when Mr. Nixon campaigned for Congressional candidates, the party lost seats, Mr. Shell said. In 1960, Mr. Nixon lost to President Kennedy despite squeaking through by 35,000 votes in his home state of California, he added. He predicted that if Mr. Nixon was nominated, California would become a pawn in a national political power struggle. “The full weight of the Kennedy Administration would be brought into play. The best interest of the people of this state would be lost. If you think Jack or Bobby Kennedy would have the slightest reluctance about this, I ask you to remember what happened to the steel companies and Roger Blough.” Mr. Shell, a star blocking back on University of Southern California teams in 1937 through 1939, offered himself as the best man to stop the high-geared Democratic machine.

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