|Name||A. Linwood Holton Jr.|
Roanoke, Virginia , United States
|| September 21, 1923
Jul 23, 2016 06:38pm
|Info||HOLTON, Abner Linwood Jr. - the first Republican Governor of Virginia in the 20th century. He was governor from 1970 to 1974. He was the Republican candidate for governor in 1965 but was defeated by Democrat Mills E. Godwin, Jr.. He later unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the US Senate in 1978, running third in a field of Richard D. Obenshain, John Warner, and Nathan H. Miller . |
Holton was a creature of the mountain-valley GOP that fought the "Byrd Machine," and was not in favor of welcoming conservative Democrats into the Virginia Republican Party. Ironically, he was succeeded in 1974 by Godwin, a former conservative Democrat who had turned Republican.
As governor he pushed hard to field Republican candidates in all statewide races instead of endorsing conservative alternatives. This led to weak moderate GOP candidates who ran third in the Virginia US Senate election in 1970 and the special election in 1971 to choose a successor for the deceased J. Sargeant Reynolds.
As the Virginia Republican Party became more conservative, he found himself more in line with the state Democratic Party, ultimately endorsing several Democrats for statewide office, including his son-in-law, Governor Tim Kaine. Although he has in the past supported moderate Republicans including John Warner.
In November 2005, he underwent surgery to treat bladder cancer.
Gov. Holton is a 1944 graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.