After the news broke that former U.S. Senator George McGovern died Sunday at age 90, most people old enough to remember him probably thought back to his landslide defeat at the hands of Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential race.
That wasn’t the case for Pecan Plantation resident Ray Mount.
Mount, 86, lived in Yankton, S.D., for 30 years. He said he met McGovern, who was from nearby Avon, S.D., at a Masonic Temple ceremony in the early 1950s.
McGovern was just starting to run for a Senate seat.
“He made a very fine speech. I didn’t agree with much of it,” quipped Mount, who stopped being a Mason but has never wavered in his status as a serious Republican.
He said McGovern had found out his name, likely from Mount’s uncle Lloyd Uecker, who was a confirmed Democrat and Mason.
McGovern may not have been a seasoned politician at the time, but he walked up to Mount and called him by name even though they had never met before.
“He said, ‘Ray, I know I can count on your vote’,” said Mount, who has lived in Hood County for about 13 years.
“I said, ‘No, you can’t count on my vote – and if my uncle was running for Senate, I wouldn’t vote for him, either.”
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