George Romney, 43rd Governor of Michigan

Gov. George Romney of Michigan

Gov. George Romney of Michigan, photo by seekingmichigan.

Tonight at 8 PM, eight Republican candidates take the stage at Oakland University in CNBC’s “Your Money, Your Vote” Republican Presidential Debate (also see this Freep article).

One of the candidates is Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who grew up in Bloomfield Hills the son of George Wilcken Romney (July 8, 1907 – July 26, 1995). George Romney was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954-1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963-1969, an unsuccessful candidate for President in 1968 (see campaign brochure), and the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 -1973. Wikipedia says:

His position as the leader of the moderate Republicans at the constitutional convention helped gain him the Republican nomination for Governor of Michigan. He ran against incumbent Democratic Governor John B. Swainson in the general election. Romney campaigned on revising the state’s tax structure, increasing its appeal to businesses and the general public, and getting it “rolling again”. Romney decried both the large influence of labor unions within the Democratic Party and the similarly large influence of big business within the Republican Party. His campaign was among the first to exploit the capabilities of electronic data processing. Romney won by some 80,000 votes and ended a fourteen-year stretch of Democratic rule in the state executive spot. Romney’s win was attributed to his appeal to independent voters and to the increasingly influential suburban Detroit voters, who by 1962 were more likely to vote Republican than the heavily Democratic residents of the city itself. Additionally, Romney had appeal to labor union members that was unusual for a Republican.

Here’s a video of Romney announcing his candidacy for Governor and another video of Romney’s inauguration on January 1, 1963. You can also see a photo of George Romney from 1980 that looks amazingly like Mitt, and the Boston Globe has a nice presentation titled The Romneys: Lessons of the Father that includes some pictures of George & Mitt.

This photo from 1963 shows Gov. George Romney releasing the first Atlantic Salmon in the Great Lakes. See it on black and see more photos of Michigan’s history in seekingmichigan’s slideshow!

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