|Text on Button||A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP GARY HART NEW JERSEY COUNTS IN '84|
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Gary Hart was an American politician and lawyer who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. His main competitor in the '84 campaign was Walter Mondale. Their race was tight until the primary election in June 1983 where voting took place in five states: California, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, West Virginia. Hart was speaking to a crowd in California right before the primary and made the mistake of insulting New Jersey by remarking that his wife, campaigning without him, was having a better time being in California than he would in New Jersey. He then went on to make it worse by saying that he had to hold samples from toxic waste dumps in New Jersey while his wife held koala bears in California. These remarks evaporated Hart's 15 point lead in the New Jersey polls and he ended up losing the state. He won California but lost the '84 nomination to Mondale. Later, as an early front runner in the 1988 campaign, he had to withdraw after it was discovered he had had an extramarital affair.