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Salinger Resigns, Will Run for Senate in California

Mar. 19, 1964 - Pierre Salinger (left) resigned today as White House press secretary. It is expected that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by Clair Engle, Democrat of California. President Johnson named George Reedy (right), who has been on the Johnson staff since 1951, as Mr. Salinger’s successor.

Mr. Salinger’s resignation was effective immediately. He plans to return to his native state of California with Andrew Hatcher, the associate press secretary, who also resigned tonight. Senator Engle, who is recovering from an operation for removal of a brain tumor, is seeking reelection.

The deadline for filing in the California primary is 5 p.m. tomorrow. Mr. Salinger indicated strongly that he would run, but said that he would make a public declaration in San Francisco tomorrow. He said he did not wish to make the White House a forum for such an announcement.

Mr. Hatcher, the highest-ranking Negro ever to serve on the White House staff, was long active in California politics before becoming associate press secretary. He is expected to be a key figure if Mr. Salinger enters the primary.

Mr. Salinger left his post just short of four months after the assassination of President Kennedy. He told reporters he had made up his mind today and submitted a letter of resignation to President Johnson.

Mr. Salinger is the fourth “Kennedy man” to leave the White House staff in recent months. The others are Theodore Sorensen, special counsel and Mr. Kennedy’s principal speech writer; Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the historian and special assistant to President Kennedy; and Timothy Reardon Jr., Cabinet Secretary.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy has said he will leave after the elections in November.


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