Ronald Reagan Elected Governor

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On November 8, 1966 California voters elected Republican candidate Ronald Reagan as the states 33rd Governor. Reagan defeated then two-term Governor, Democrat Edmund G. “Pat” Brown. This would be the first elected political office Ronald Reagan would hold in his long public career. Reagan would serve two terms as the Governor of California before going on to achieve greater heights serving as a two term President. Reagan’s political career began to unfold when he decided to work on the 1964 Goldwater campaign for President. The endorsement of once presidential nominee Barry Goldwater: A conservative Republican Senator from Arizona, culminated with Reagan gaining national prominence with his “Time for Choosing” speech endorsing Goldwater…show more content…
In summer of 1966 Reagan’s campaign was rolling, having defeated the other republican primary candidates. Reagan was a head of Brown in all of the polls by 15 percentage points. The Brown camp was reeling, while the Reagan campaign transitioned seamlessly from the primary to the general election emerging as moderate with general appeal. Brown seemingly with no alternatives did the only thing he could which was to go negative. The governor’s campaign never really unified, attempted to paint Reagan as right wing conservative by attempting to link Reagan to the John Birch Society, which was a radical right wing advocacy group. In addition it attempted to exploit Reagan lack of experience in statewide office. The efforts eventually proved to be fruitless, as the Governors constituent’s would abandon the liberal Democrat for the conservative actor turned politician. In the late fall Reagan leads in the polls were insurmountable (The Right Moment, Chapter 10). Reagan would be flawless in the general campaign and Brown could not compete against his appeal. Unlike four years earlier, Brown was competing against a polished figure not like the dark tragic Nixon. He was unable to show voters he was the man for the challenges California faced in 1966 and beyond specifically with the civil unrest and violence on campuses throughout the state. On November 8, 1966 voters spoke loudly giving
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