James C. Clark


Claude Pepper’s defeat in the 1950 Florida Democratic Senatorial primary has long been seen as the result of a vicious campaign in which his opponents used underhanded methods to win. But while the 1950 campaign between Pepper and George Smathers was one of the nastiest in Florida history, the roots of Pepper’s loss can be traced to 1945, when he began to feud with President Harry Truman and began courting the political left. Those two activities so badly damaged his standing in Florida that he lost the large following which had sent him to the U.S. Senate in three previous elections.