Howard Gilmer

Howard Gilmer was an attorney in Pulaski, Virginia, and was briefly a candidate for Attorney General as a Democrat in 1956. A former U.S. District Attorney in western Virginia, Gilmer was accused of "selling influence" in May 1956 when he allegedly took compensation for writing a letter of introduction for a friend in the insurance business. On May 10, 1957, the Virginia Association of Life Underwriters censured Gilmer for using "very poor judgment" when he allegedly received money in exchange for a letter of introduction to friends urging them to purchase insurance from one of his clients. Gilmer denied the charges, calling it a political smear campaign. Nevertheless, pressure from the state Democratic Party resulted in Gilmer's withdrawal as nominee for Attorney General on June 22, 1957. After two insurance associations enacted censure resolutions against him and a public controversy over his actions erupted, Gilmer withdrew his candidacy for Attorney General in 1957. (Roanoke World News, May 11-16, 1957)