Jennings Randolph Elected To Senate In 1958

Charleston Gazette
November 6, 1958

He Reaches Boyhood Ambition

Senate Randolph's Life Goal
By The Associated Press

The election of suave, portly Jennings Randolph of Elkins to the United States Senate fulfills what he acknowledges was a boyhood ambition.

After an absence of 12 years, Randolph now will return to Congress, where he formerly served in the House of Representatives. He spend the intervening years in Washington as an airline executive.

In the West Virginia election Tuesday, Randolph defeated Republican Sen. John D. Hoblitzell, Jr. of Ravenswood for the unexpired term of the late Sen. Matthew M. Neely, which runs to Jan. 3, 1961. Hoblitzell received the interim Senate appointment after Neely's death last January.

The Randolph-Hoblitzell campaign, revived Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal as an issue. As the 2nd District congressman for seven terms (1933-47), Randolph supported much of the New Deal program.

Hoblitzell, a bank official in private life, labeled himself a conservative and Randolph a New Dealer. In campaign speeches, Hoblitzell criticized "big government" and paired the Democrats with what he viewed as a policy of "spending and taxing and wasting."

Randolph accepted the New Deal label as an accolade. He hit hard on the recession theme and said the economy would be in worse shape. "If it were not for the cushions and safeguards that we Democrats provided under the New Deal and Fair Deal programs."

Randolph, now 56, was born at Salem in Harrison County. He attended Salem College there, also the alma mater of Gov. Cecil H. Underwood. The school is run by the Seventh Day Baptist Church, to which Randolph belongs.

In college, Randolph combined athletics and scholarship with notable success. He earned varsity letters in four sports and was graduated magna cum-laude.

He later spend six years on the faculty of Davis and Elkins College as head of the department of speech and journalism. Randolph has written books on public speaking. Few people in West Virginia have been as much in demand as after dinner speakers as Randolph has over the years.

He worked as a newspaperman on the Clarksburg Telegram, as associate editor of the now defunct West Virginia Review magazine, and as co-owner of a weekly paper.

During his 14 years in the House, Randolph served as assistant majority of the whip and as the Civil Service District of Columbia committees.

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