Special Collections


Campaign/Political Series: No Date (n.d.), 1945-1984, bulk 1961-1984
Linear Feet: 194.4 (346.75 document cases, 53 index card boxes, 36 portfolio boxes, 7 record center boxes, 194.5 inches notebooks, 3 inches magnetic cards, 10 rolls microfilm)
Status: A few files are closed.
Boxes: 437-931

The “Campaign/Political Series” of the John Tower Papers is a rich source for documenting Congressional campaigns of the late twentieth century. Senator Tower started his campaign career in the early 1960s with a personal effort and a small campaign staff that operated out of the Republican Party Headquarters in Houston. His later campaigns were increasingly sophisticated and well-organized, with professional campaign staff and paid consultants. Because the files span 20 years, they illustrate many of the trends in politics and campaigns in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. These include the increasing use of paid advertisements to reach prospective voters through print, radio and television and the growing reliance on information provided by studies and surveys and the advice of political consultants to help plan strategy. The files also document many other topics of potential interest to researchers, including the role of women in political campaigns, the targeting of minority voters by political candidates, and the inner workings of the Republican Party in Texas and the nation.

The campaign/political papers cover Senator Tower’s campaigns of 1960, 1961, 1966, 1972 and 1978 and well as the 1984 race that he decided not to run. There are also a few items of memorabilia from his unsuccessful 1954 race for the Texas State Legislature.

In addition to Senator Tower’s campaign files, the series contains files documenting the 1964 Goldwater campaign for President, the 1968 Nixon campaign for President, the 1976 Ford campaign for President, the Reagan presidential campaigns of 1980 and 1984, and miscellaneous campaign/political materials relating to the Republican and Democratic parties. The work of Senator Tower, his campaign staff, Republican Party officials, and other agencies and individuals involved with campaigns and politics is documented in the files.

The files—which include correspondence, minutes, reports, speeches, statements, press releases, news clippings, studies, surveys, polls, memorabilia, audiovisual materials, and financial records —contain a broad range of information on a variety of matters such as advertising, campaign strategy, campaign issues, voter groups, political opponents, and fundraising. Most of the files in the Campaign/Political Series are subject files that were kept by individuals or the campaign office, and consequently a folder may contain several of the types of material listed above. For example, a report on the 1972 campaign by John Knaggs, a political consultant, is found in a folder called “1972 Statistics and Campaign Facts-General” along with correspondence and other items. Campaign press releases are found throughout the files, though many are found in the files of the campaign press director for each campaign. Correspondence in the campaign/political files includes letters and memoranda circulated among campaign staff, correspondence with Republican Party officials such as Peter O’Donnell, correspondence with advertising and research firms, and letter of support from constituents.

The 1972 Tower Senatorial Campaign Subseries, part of the Tower Senate Club records, is particularly detailed and complete. The Central Office FIles, found here, touch on all facets of Tower’s 1972 campaign and include detailed minutes of campaign staff meetings. The many campaign-related memorabilia items, photographs, and audiovisual materials were separated from the campaign/political papers and housed with like items. Examples of audiovisual materials include footage of a November 2, 1972, Tower election eve special and a 1978 sound sheet called “El Corrido de John Tower [the Ballad of John Tower]” that was produced for the Mexican-American division of the Tower campaign, “Nosotros Con Tower.” 

Sereies and Subseries Boxes

Tower Senate Club Records (n.d., 1960-1984)

    1961 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1960-1961)
    1964 Goldwater Campaign for President (n.d., 1963-1964)
    1972 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1970-1973)
    1978 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1965-1966, 1970-1973, 1975-1979)
    Files of John Davis (n.d., 1963-1964, 1972-1978)
    Republican Party of Texas (n.d., 1964-1972)
    Tower Senate Club Records (n.d., 1972-1984)


Austin Office (n.d., 1952, 1957-1979)

    1961 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1959-1961)
    1966 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1956-1967, bulk 1965-1966)
    1968 Nixon Campaign for President- Women for Nixon (n.d., 1967-1968)
    1972 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1957-1973, bulk 1971-1972)
    1976 Ford Campaign for President (n.d., 1975-1976)
    1978 Tower Senatorial Campaign - Press Clippings (n.d., 1978)
    Campaign/Political Files-Miscellaneous (n.d., 1962-1963, 1965-1979)



Washington Office (n.d., 1945-1984, bulk 1961-1984)

    1966 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., [1960?]-1961, 1965-1967)
    1968 Nixon Campaign for President (1966-1970, bulk 1968)
    1972 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1964-1968, 1970-1973)
    1976 Ford Campaign for President (1975-1978, bulk 1976-1977)
    1978 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1966, 1971-1981, bulk 1977-1978)
    1984 Tower Senatorial Campaign (n.d., 1966, 1971-1984)
    Accounts (1962-1969)
    Campaign/Political-Miscellaneous (n.d., 1961-1979)
    Reagan Campaigns and Presidency (n.d., 1966, 1970, 1972, 1975-1984)
    Republican Party (n.d., 1945-1960, 1968-1982)



Studies/Surveys (n.d., 1965-1972, 1974-1979, 1982-1983)

    Miscellaneous (n.d., 1965-1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1978)
882-883, 900
    Louis, Bowles, and Grace, Inc. (1967-1972)
    Merrill/ Wirthlin Associates (1968-1969)
    Decision Making Information [DMI] (1972, 1974-1975, 1977)
    Lance Tarrance and Associates (1977-1979, 1982-1983)