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A former mayor of Minneapolis and a Minnesota Senator, Hubert Humphrey served as Vice President of the United States under President Lyndon B. Johnson, from 1964 to 1968. Johnson originally planned to run for re-election in 1968 and Humphrey was tasked with campaigning for him, but Johnson decided to drop out of the race after polls showed growing support for challengers Senator Eugene McCarthy from Minnesota and Senator Robert F. Kennedy from New York. Humphrey announced his candidacy in April 1968 and positioned himself as the conservative Democrat versus Kennedy and McCarthy, already gaining momentum before Senator Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles on June 6, 1968. McCarthy was then seen as the peace candidate, while Humphrey was perceived as representing President Johnson's pro-war view on the conflict in Vietnam.
Despite entering the race too late to compete in the primary elections, Humphrey won his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago in August 1968. He selected Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine as his running mate. Humphrey and Muskie ran against the Republican Party's ticket of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in the general election, but Humphrey was unable to separate himself from the Johnson administration, and was defeated by Nixon on Election Day.