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Richard Nixon Visits Los Gatos

In the early days of Richard Nixon's career an interesting loophole in the political process may have worked to his advantage.

In 1950, when he was a candidate for the California State Senate, Richard Nixon made a brief stop in Los Gatos.

A number of local residents greeted him on Santa Cruz Avenue where this photo was taken. 

His opponent was Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas, a former Broadway star, protege of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the first Democratic woman Californians elected to Congress.

At the time, California candidates could cross-file on both the Democratic and Republican ballots and Nixon sent 68,500 leaflets to registered Democrats failing to disclose his party affiliation. 

The night before the primary his "campaign trickery" was exposed in full page newspaper ads under the heading: "Warning to All Democrats." 

He won the GOP primary by 700,000 votes but the "Tricky Dick" moniker dogged him for the rest of his political life. 

Source: Hooked on Los Gatos, the Library and Museum History Project

Mich Dowd November 26, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Well it was a nickname he well deserved. I wish Robert Kennedy had lived and was able defeat him in the presidential election of 1968. I didn't care for Nixon but respected him.

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