W. D. Workman, Jr.
1914 – 1990
Who was W. D. Workman, Jr.?
William Douglas Workman, Jr., was a conservative journalist and a pioneer in the development of the modern South Carolina Republican Party. He carried his party's banner as an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1962 and for the governorship in 1982.
Workman was born in Greenwood to Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Workman, Sr. He graduated from The Citadel in Charleston and became a journalist. He entered the United States Army during World War II. After the war, Workman returned to South Carolina to resume his journalism career.
Workman entered politics as a Republican and challenged incumbent Democrat Olin D. Johnston for the U.S. Senate seat in November 1962. The election occurred shortly after the Cuban missile crisis bolstered Democratic prospects nationwide. He alleged that Johnston was too closely connected to the national Democratic Party and that South Carolina deserved a senator more in line with the "conservative traditions" of the state. Workman's campaign was the first significant Republican effort in South Carolina since Reconstruction. Two years later Strom Thurmond would defect from the Democratic Party to become the first Republican state officeholder in South Carolina. Thurmond would serve for more than 36 years as a GOP senator.
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