In one of the crafty types of moves that would help earn him the nickname "Tricky Dick" a few years later, Richard M. Nixon pulled a fast one on the California voters, and a Democratic activist named Stephen Zetterberg.
Nixon, a Republican, entered himself in the California Democratic primary to compete against Zetterberg. This process of "cross-filing" was allowed by California law back then. Nixon did all he could to confuse Democratic voters, sending out campaign mailed addressed to "Fellow Democrats."
Zetterberg offered to debate, but Nixon refused. When Nixon won the primary, he then had what he wanted -- a general election in which he had no opponent.
Zetterberg went on to have a long, fulfilling life, until he passed away this past week. Read more about Zetterberg in our Weekly Wikipedia link. And for a little "What if Nixon played the election fair," browse this discussion one one of Google's What If groups.
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