CONNALLY CAME SO CLOSE TO VICE-PRESIDENCY

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CONNALLY CAME SO CLOSE TO VICE-PRESIDENCY

This Week In Texas History

Rather than go to prison, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned on Oct. 10, 1973 and gave Richard Nixon a second chance to replace him with a former governor of Texas.

John Bowden Connally, Jr. rose from the humblest circumstances to become Lyndon Johnson’s right-hand man. He managed every major campaign of his mentor starting with LBJ’s unsuccessful race for the U.S. Senate in 1941 to his landslide election as president in 1964. In the meantime, Connally had stepped out of Johnson’s shadow by challenging Gov. Price Daniel in the 1962 Democratic primary. Starting out at four percent in the preference polls, he made short work of the scandal-plagued incumbent, who finished a poor third in the first round, and won a hard-fought runoff against Don Yarborough.

The next November, the 46 year old governor was thrust onto the national stage by the tragedy in Dealey Plaza. Connally recovered from the serious gunshot wounds he suffered that terrible day, but for better or worse his life would never be the same. After winning reelection with over 70-percent of the vote in 1964 and again in 1966, the popular politician decided he had done all he could do as Texas’ chief executive. He returned to private life with a prominent law firm in Houston.

 

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