1966 California gubernatorial election
The California gubernatorial election, 1966 was held on November 8, 1966. The election was a race between incumbent Governor Pat Brown, the Democratic candidate, and actor Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate.
Background[change | change source]
After his re-election victory over former Vice President Richard Nixon in 1962, Brown was strongly considered for Lyndon Johnson's 1964 ticket, a spot that eventually went to Hubert Humphrey. However, Brown's popularity began to sag amidst the civil disorders of the Watts riots and the early anti-Vietnam War demonstrations at U.C. Berkeley.
The Republicans seized upon Brown's sudden unpopularity by nominating a well known and charismatic political outsider – actor Ronald Reagan. With Richard Nixon working tirelessly behind the scenes and Reagan trumpeting his law and order campaign message, Reagan received almost 2/3 of the primary vote over George Christopher, the moderate Republican former mayor of San Francisco.