Who Dat? – R

We’re still awaiting decisions from the Killer B’s — Biden, Beto, Bullock — as to whether they will run for president.  But for now, let’s focus on the Killer R’s — those “R” politicians whose buttons need identifying.

As our fellow political junkies know, for some time now we’ve been showing photos of unknown buttons, arranged alphabetically by candidate names, for you to help identify.  We can’t make heads or tails of these candidates, most of whom we’ve never heard of.  And when we see a “Smith for Congress” or a “Jones for Senator” button, how do we know which Smith or which Jones?  So we’ve been posting pictures of these buttons, hoping you will have the answer.  Often, you have come through, which is most appreciated.

Thus far, we’ve completed the first 16 letters of the alphabet.  (Check out our previous “Who Dats”:  Unknowns beginning with the Letter A, Letter B, two pages for Letter C (here and here), Letter D, Letter E, Letter F, Letter G, Letter H, Letter I, Letter J, Letter K, Letter L, Letter M, Letter N,  Letter O and Letter P.)  Let the record show we don’t have enough unknown Q candidates to list.  We even have one of buttons with pictures only — no names.  That’s even harder to decipher.

We now bring you to the Letter R.  Any idea on who these candidates R?  Thanks!

For the record, three buttons in the first row — the two for Fred Reuss and one from Joan Rosenthal — are thought to be from Queens, N.Y.  That’s all we got.

22 thoughts on “Who Dat? – R”

  1. “Riley for Governor,” p. 2, row 4 — Clement A. Riley was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Massachusetts in 1962. He was the state Registrar of Motor Vehicles — hence the license-plate motif on the button — and his signature issue was the repeal of the state’s “compulsory automobile insurance” law requiring drivers to have insurance.

  2. “John Rarig for Congress” — Rarig, an apple grower in Adams County, Pa., lost the Democratic congressional primary in Pennsylvania 19 in 1982; two years later, he won the nomination but lost the general to incumbent Bill Goodling in the same district.

  3. “Bill Richards Drain Commissioner”– As far as I know, Michigan is the only state to elect county drain commissioners. Democrat Bill Richards was appointed in 1972 to fill a vacancy in the position of Oakland County Drain Commissioner. In November 1972 he lost to Republican George W. Kuhn. Richards tried a comeback in 1976, but lost the Democratic primary. That weird-looking thing in the center of the button is the “ecology” symbol, widely recognized in the early Seventies and remembered by a few old-timers like me today.

  4. “Republican Ryan for Lt. Gov.” — probably John M. Ryan, GOP nominee for that office in 1964.

    George Ryan of Illinois is a possibility, but he ran for (and was elected) LG in 1982 and 1986, and the button looks to me more like an item from the Sixties than one from the Eighties. So I don’t think it’s George.

  5. “Reading for Mayor” – probably John Reading of Oakland, CA, who served 1966-77, and was elected in 1967, 1969, and 1973.

  6. “Resnick for Congress”– looks to me like Joseph Y. Resnick, who was elected to Congress from N.Y. 28 in 1964 and 1966 before losing the Democratic Senate primary in 1968.

  7. “Joseph Verner Reed for Assembly” — Reed sought the GOP nomination in Manhattan’s 8th A.D., part of John Lindsay’s “Silk Stocking” district, in 1964. The courts ruled him ineligible to be on the ballot, so I guess whatever Reed spent on these buttons went to waste. Not that Reed couldn’t afford it.

    BTW, he went on to be U.S. Ambassador to Morocco under Reagan, then a UN official, and finally George H.W Bush’s protocol chief.

  8. raymer is Walter J. Raymer [1864-1935] from Chicago lost Republican nomination in 1901 as per Chicago Tribune Feb. 5, 1901 pg. 3 col. 4

  9. Ken – the button that reads “Elect Richards/Zimmerman Delegates” is a 1953 pin from Fairfax County Virginia.

    Lt. Col. Harris Therrell Richards-R and Mrs. Cynthia Stair Dalrymple Zimmerman-R ran as a ticket for the House of Delegates. Back then, Virginia state legislators were elected either by county, by city, by combinations of counties, or by combinations of counties and cities. Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church elected 2 Delegates at large every two years from 1953 to 1961.

    Lt. Col. Harris and Mrs. Zimmerman were nominated from a field of five (5) GOP candidates, but both lost in the Fall to newcomers John Cobourn Webb-D and Omer Lee Hirst-D.

    Lt. Col. Harris, who also had been Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee in the early 1950s, had previosly run unsuccessfully for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1951 from the Mount Vernon District. He lost to incumbent Supervisor Arthur I. Shaffer-D. Lt. Col. Harris died in 1993, at the age of 80.

    Meanwhile, Mrs. Zimmerman divorced in the 1950s, and she was rewed to Carson B. “Newt” Newman in 1958. In 1979, she ran as Cynthia S. Newman for the State Senate in the 34th District, which consisted of part of Fairfax County and the entire City of Fairfax. She lost the Republican primary to John Murray Thoburn, the son of the late former Del. Robert Loren Thoburn, Sr.-R. Mrs. Zimmerman died in 2013 at the age of 91.

  10. Reuss is Fred Reuss, an official in the Queens branch of the NYS Conservative Party. The Party sponsored a successful referendum in NYC in 1966 to prohibite the police review board from having non-police personnel on it.


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