On This Day In 1959: Texas Passes 'LBJ Law' : It's All Politics Fifty years ago today, the Texas state legislature passes the so-called "LBJ Law" — which enabled Lyndon Johnson to seek re-election to his Senate seat as well as pursue the presidency (or the vice presidency).

On This Day In 1959: Texas Passes 'LBJ Law'

April 27, 1959:


The Texas state legislature passes a bill that would permit a candidate to run for the U.S. Senate while simultaneously seeking the presidency or vice presidency. It just so happens that Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (D) is up for re-election in 1960 and has been mentioned as a candidate for president or vice president as well.

The bill, which came to be known as the "LBJ Law," will enable Johnson to run for re-election to the Senate in '60 -- where he defeated Republican John Tower, a college professor -- and pursue the Democratic presidential nomination. When the latter goal failed, he was picked as the running mate to John Kennedy.

After Johnson resigned as senator, Tower won the special election to fill the seat, becoming the first Texas Republican senator since Reconstruction.

The same law will be utilized in 1988 by Lloyd Bentsen (D), who won re-election to the Senate but failed in his VP bid as the running mate of Michael Dukakis.

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