CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The concession speech Jesse Helms never had to give after his first election to the U.S. Senate is being shared after 45 years.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Jesse Helms Center in Wingate is releasing copies of the speech the North Carolina Republican handed to a young assistant for safekeeping. Helms wrote the speech in case he lost on Nov. 7, 1972.

Aide Patrick Reilly kept the typewritten concession speech until last year, when he sent it to the center created to honor the politician in his hometown.

Biographer William Link says Helms saved the political career of Ronald Reagan by backing him in 1976. Link says Helms also pioneered the use of hot-button social issues, TV attack ads and using direct mail to donors nationwide to raise millions.


Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com