Jesse Helms

Oct 18, 1921 - Jul 4, 2008

Jesse Alexander Helms Jr. was an American journalist, media executive, and politician. A leader in the conservative movement, he served as a senator from North Carolina from 1973 to 2003. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1995 to 2001 he had a major voice in foreign policy. Helms helped organize and fund the conservative resurgence in the 1970s, focusing on Ronald Reagan's quest for the White House as well as helping many local and regional candidates.
Helms was the longest-serving popularly elected Senator in North Carolina's history. He was widely credited with shifting the one-party state into a competitive two-party state. He advocated the movement of conservatives from the Democratic Party – which they deemed too liberal – to the Republican Party. The Helms-controlled National Congressional Club's state-of-the-art direct mail operation raised millions of dollars for Helms and other conservative candidates, allowing Helms to outspend his opponents in most of his campaigns. Helms was the most stridently conservative politician of the post-1960s era, especially in opposition to federal intervention into what he considered state affairs.
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“Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard.”

Jesse Helms
Oct 18, 1921 - Jul 4, 2008
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