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Jesse Helms first met Ronald Reagan in the early 1960s while still working for WRAL-TV in Raleigh. Reagan supported Helms in his 1972 Senate campaign and when Reagan ran for President in 1976 Helms was one of the first to publicly endorse the new candidate. Although Reagan did not win the Republican nomination he made quite an impact and garnered enough support to eventually lead him to victory in 1980 and again in 1984.

 

 

Senator Helms and President Reagan often worked together during his two terms but there were also instances when they disagreed. Helms wrote, “I am obliged to make the record clear: While President Reagan and I agreed on most things, there were some topics on which I felt obliged to publicly state my opposition.” In spite of these minor differences of opinion they remained good friends and supported each other long after Reagan left the White House.

 

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