2. George W. Romney (1968, Republican)
George W. Romney, father of Mitt Romney, was a successful businessman who served as chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962. He went on to serve as a popular and respected governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969. Romney announced his candidacy for president in 1967, and for a time he was the GOP favorite, expected to take the nomination for the Republican party.
Unfortunately, Romney’s lead slipped in the polls, due in part to his changing stance on the Vietnam War. Two weeks before the March 12 primary, an internal poll showed Romney losing to Richard Nixon by a six-to-one margin in New Hampshire. Seeing his cause was hopeless, Romney announced his withdrawal as a presidential candidate on February 28, 1968. Romney wrote Mitt, who was serving a mission in France, “Your mother and I are not personally distressed. As a matter of fact, we are relieved. . . . I aspired, and though I achieved not, I am satisfied.”
Richard Nixon went on to win the Republican nomination and the presidential election. After Nixon took office, he appointed Romney to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.