Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 121
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 121

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Page 121
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Page 121 article text (OCR)

Sen. John Glenn, an Ohio Democrat,and wife, Annie,at their home near Washington: His speech will kick off the party's convention this week. FmAtfnultoKeiniteMer ··» COLUMBUS, OHIO. H is hair, red 15 years ago, now is sandy and thinner. His sparkling, silver space suit has been replaced by somber business attire befitting a United States Senator. But few will fail to recognize John H. Glenn Jr., America's most famous astronaut, when he steps before the television cameras this week to address the Democratic National Convention. Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, returns to the limelight as one of the two keynote speakers at the convention--but he also could emerge as the party's Vice Presidential nominee. Former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter has mentioned Glenn as a possible running mate--and Glenn has indicated that he would accept such an offer: "If . my name is in somebody's head, then by Robert Walters COVER PHOTO BY PETER SOUTHWIOr of course I'm available. I am not running for, or away from, anything." Glenn's prominence is a result not only of his personal glamour but also of backing by a high-powered political organization headed by a little-known but influential lawyer-businessman. He is Stephen J. Kovacik Jr., a bearded, charismatic and controversial figure who was Glenn's campaign manager in the successful 1974 race for-a Senate seat from Ohio. Td want Glenn' "If I were the Presidential nominee, I couldn't find a better running mate ·than John Glenn," Kovacik said in a recent interview in his Columbus,Ohio, law office. "I'd want Glenn on my ticket because he'd not only carry the Democratic vote but also carve sub- stantially into the Republican vote." Kovacik does not conceal his dismay over Glenn's decision not to actively seek the Presidency. "He could have been the Jimmy Carter of 1976,"- said Kovacik. Glenn has been reticent about seeking either the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. For more than a year, he repeatedly insisted that his only ambition in politics was to become "the best Senator Ohio ever had." But in recent months he has softened his resistance to suggestions about the Vice Presidential nomination: "Do l~ have an interest in it? Why, certainly, if the opportunity was there and if things work around that way. I'm not going to run away from it." Accompanying that statement was Glenn's standard "I'm not running for anything." But behind the scenes stands Kovacik, who has ambitious plans-for the Senator and himself. Kovacik not only ran Glenn's campaign two years ago, but also contributed $80,000, making him the most generous single donor to any Senate candidate in 1974. Two employees Kovacik also put on the payroll of Television Programs, Inc--a company he established to syndicate television shows--two person* working on Glenn's 1974 campaign. They were John M. Kinsellagh, who how heads Glenn's office in Columbus, Ohio, and Sandra A. Zeune, Kovacik's personal secretary at the time. Last year, Kovacik associate Mitchel L. Harvey worked for Glenn, scheduling

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