Guest Column, Opinion-Editorial

Oregon was John F. Kennedy’s make-or-break state in 1960 primary

Sen. John F. Kennedy greets Mrs. Mary M. Barr at the Salem airport on Sept. 7, 1960. IMAGE: MARION COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

As the 1960 Democratic presidential primary neared, Sen. John F. Kennedy was looking at Oregon with increasing apprehension.
At that time, Oregon was the first Western state to hold a mandatory primary - in which every candidate appeared on the ballot whether he wanted to be or not. That position, combined with the state's well-deserved reputation as an electoral maverick, made it a rather daunting prospect.
Oregon . . .