Election 1944: Clark blames CIO for his defeat (8-3-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 3, 1944)


Clark blames CIO for his defeat

‘Communist-led’ group assailed

St. Louis, Missouri (UP) –
Democratic Senator Bennett Champ Clark, pre-war isolationist and New Deal critic, today blamed the “Communist-controlled CIO” for his defeat for renomination for a third term in the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s primary election in Missouri.

In a statement, Mr. Clark obviously conceded the nomination to State Attorney General Roy McKittrick and branded his defeat “a notable triumph for the Communist-controlled CIO in its efforts to take control of the Democratic Party.”

‘Fight just starting’

Mr. Clark said:

That fight is not conclusive. It is just starting. I am happy that I carried the bona fide Democratic counties of rural Missouri with whom I have been associated so long.

The people of rural Missouri were alert – like the Minute Men of Revolutionary fame – to the menace of CIO control.

Unofficial returns from 4,197 of Missouri’s 4,516 precincts gave McKittrick 161,056 votes; Clark, 140,175.

Isolationist record hit

McKittrick based his campaign attacks on Clark’s pre-war isolationist record and his stand against administration-sponsored legislation. Clark defended himself on the ground he was trying to keep the country out of the war.

McKittrick received his heaviest vote from the urban areas of the state, with the exception of Kansas City, which voted preponderantly for Clark.

In other state primary contests, Jean Paul Bradshaw, Republican lawyer of Lebanon, won the GOP gubernatorial nomination and will face Democratic State Senator Phil M. Donnelly in the November election.

While McKittrick was defeating Clark in the Democratic primary, Republican Governor Forrest C. Donnell carried off the GOP senatorial nomination against six opponents. With less than 300 precincts unreported, Donnell had amassed 135,219 votes to 61,576 for his nearest competitor.