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Former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and Maine Senator Edmund Muskie made up the Democratic Party ticket in the 1968 presidential election. After Lyndon B. Johnson inherited the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, he chose Humphrey to be his running mate against Republican Barry Goldwater. The Johnson/Humphrey ticket was elected in a landslide in 1964. Prior to serving as Vice-President, Humphrey was elected as mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 and served as Minnesota's representative in the United States Senate, from 1949 to 1964.
After Johnson decided not to run for re-election in 1968, Humphrey launched his campaign and secured the Democratic Party's nomination, partially through his strategy of avoiding the primary elections against fellow Democrats Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. The assassinations of Robert Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., combined with increased opposition to the Vietnam War, were harmful to the Humphrey/Muskie ticket, and they lost to Richard Nixon in the general election.
After the 1968 election, Humphrey taught at Macalester College and University of Minnesota, before returning to the Senate in 1976, and remained in office until his death in 1978. Muskie was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1972, and returned to the Senate in 1974 before serving as Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981.