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OKLAHOMA: Youngster v. Youngster

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“My name is Josh Lee, but I’m no joke,” announced a University of Oklahomafreshman when introduced to a church social in Oklahoma City some 25 years ago. Two years ago Oklahoma realized that Joshua Bryan Lee was no joke when it sent that professor of elocution at the State University to Congress, where he attracted immediate attention by mellifluous,effective speechmaking. Last week Representative Josh Lee, 44, again proved his worth when he won the Democratic run-off primary for the U. S. Senate. Swamped by the largest majority (112,000 votes) in Oklahoma history was Democratic Governor Ernest Whitworth Marland.

Nominee Lee’s Republican opponent in November will be another youngster, 38-year-old Herbert K. Hyde. A part-Indian who once studied elocution under Professor Lee, Nominee Hyde successfully prosecuted the kidnappers of Oilman Charles Frederick Urschel (TIME, Oct. 2 & 9, 1935). Last week he planned to out-josh Josh Lee, blanket Oklahoma with flamboyant oratory. Lee’s slogan: “From hoe-handle to the U. S. Senate.” Hyde’s slogan: “From bootblack to U. S. Senator.”

Down to defeat in still another run-off went Democratic Representative Percy Lee (“Don’t Call Me Percy”) Gassaway, whose ten-gallon hat, cowboy boots, wing collar, shoestring tie and advocacy of birth control made him a minor notable in the 74th Congress. Victor on a cowhide radical program was jut-jawed, 27-year-old Lyle H. Boren who stepped out of a Government job for the campaign. Gassaway’s chief attack on him was his failure to marry, produce 14 children, as Gassaway had done. Replied Nominee Boren: “Old Noah or someone in the Bible was 500 years old before he married. All I need is time.”

Third Democratic winner of note last week in Oklahoma was Representative-at-large Will Rogers, no kin to his late great namesake, who beat Sam Houston III, grandson of Texas’ No. 1 hero.

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