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 in his bid for the presidency. In what author Paul Kengor, terms his spiritual biography of Ronald Reagan; the author suggests the “The time for Choosing” speech was a watershed moment for American Leadership (GOD 109). The speech was such a success that in the wake of Goldwater’s trouncing in the 1964 Presidential election, what pundits thought surely the demise of the right wing conservative movement, conservative activist in California began talking about Reagan as a candidate for Governor in 1966. Reagan in fact did run in 1966. In the campaign for Governor, Reagan had to overcome not only his opponents but also his reputation. Reagan lacked experience in state politics in spite of being a well-known representative for conservative views on subjects that range from individual freedoms, small government, the evils of communism and taxes. The Reagan campaign did not officially announce the intentions of running until January of 1966, but in the fall of 1965 it coined the term citizen-polit... ... middle of paper ... ...gainst 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 Reagan a margin of victory of more than a million votes. Works Cited Dallek, Matthew . The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Vicotory and Decisive Turning Point in American Politics. Kindle ed. New York, NY : The Free Press, c2000. Kengor, Paul, 1966-. God and Ronald Reagan: a spiritual life. 1st ed. New York, NY : ReganBooks, c2004. TIME, “California: New Role for Reagan” TIME Magazine Date: January 14, 1966. Time Inc. .

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