Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James Allen Rhodes (September 13, 1909 - March 4, 2001) was a Republican politician from Ohio, and as of 2004 one of only three U.S. state governors to be elected to four terms in office. As governor, he decided to send National Guard troops to Kent State University in 1970 to quell disturbances there, leading to the Kent State massacre.
Rhodes served as mayor of Columbus, Ohio from 1943-1952. He was elected State Auditor in 1952, taking office in early 1953. He served in that office until being elected governor in 1962 (he had already lost runs for the office twice - once in the primary in 1950 and once in the general election in 1954). Rhodes served two terms as governor - he also sought the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1964 and 1968, but fell well short each time - before retiring in 1971. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970, losing the primary election to Robert Taft, Jr. which was two days after the events at Kent State.
At a news conference in Kent, Ohio, Sunday May 3, 1970, the day before the Kent State massacre he said of campus protesters, "They're worse than the brownshirts and the communist element and also the nightriders and the vigilantes. They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."
The Ohio Constitution limits the governor to two four-year terms, so when Rhodes initially filed to run again in 1974, his petitions were refused by the Secretary of State. Rhodes sued and the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the limitation was on consecutive terms, thus freeing him to return to office in the 1974 election, narrowly defeating inclumbent John Gilligan. He served two more terms before retiring again in 1983. He sought to run for the governorship again in 1986, seeking a record-breaking fifth term, but lost to the incumbent Richard F. Celeste.
|Preceded by: (first term)|
|Governor of Ohio|
|Succeeded by: (first term)|
John J. Gilligan
|Preceded by: (second term)|
John J. Gilligan
|Succeeded by: (second term)|
Richard F. Celeste
Joseph T. Ferguson
|Ohio State Auditor|
Roger W. Tracy Jr.
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