Jimmy who? Jimmy Carter, the original “Washington outsider” to run for the presidency, was still governor of Georgia when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in December 1974.
Constitutionally barred from a second term as governor and still young at 50, Carter thought his outsider status, strong principles, and reform agenda as governor would appeal to a nation weary of scandal in the wake of Watergate.
Lacking national recognition, Carter spent a year traveling, building his political and financial bases. It was an uphill climb: no candidate from the Deep South had been elected since the Civil War, and Carter’s lack of national experience turned off many mainstream Democrats. But he won the Iowa caucuses in January 1976, and a string of primary victories followed: New Hampshire, Florida, and Illinois -- his first victory in a Northern industrial state.
Winning the general election would be difficult, but Carter secured the Democratic nomination at the party convention in New York on July 14, 1976, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.