Milton R. Young was re-elected to his last term in the Senate. At his retirement in 1981, he had served the longest of any Republican U.S. Senator in U.S. history. Young, who was described "as more of a listener than a talker," emphasized agricultural issues throughout his career and was often called "Mr. Wheat."
Former Gov. Bill Guy, the leading Democrat in North Dakota, challenged Young in 1974. He announced his candidacy on 1/16/1974. Guy charged that Young, who was 76 years old at the time, was too old and feeble to serve out another Senate term. He declared himself to be "a proven leader for the future."
In the spring of 1974, a poll was taken in which Guy was favored by 53% of the voters to 36% for Young. Additional cause for alarm came in the primary of 1974, when, for the first time in ND history, more voters voted in the Democratic than in the Republican primary.
Immediately after the primary, Young began his most serious campaign of his career. To counter the age issue, Young aired a television commercial in which he broke a one-inch thick board in half with a karate chop. For the first time, Young had campaign posters and buttons made. He went into action raising money and outspent Guy by a 2.5:1 margin. His record of bringing money to North Dakota for agriculture and research was unassailable, and he was physically ready for another term.
A month before the election, another poll showed that the race had narrowed: Guy 46.2%, Young 45.9%, Jungroth 2[More...]