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Ray Bonis Collection of Oliver North for U. S. Senate Campaign Materials

Identifier: M 381

Scope and Contents

The scope of the content is almost exclusively from 1994 excepting a few pages of the Washington Post from 1987, which cover the Iran-Contra affair. Much of the content was collected by Ray Bonis at the 1994 Republican State Convention of Virginia and includes a variety of newspapers, some magazines, and political flyers and pamphlets from 1994. Much of the political content is conservative, and it includes documents from family values groups, specific candidates, and general conservative organizations and cover political and social issues including health care reform, abortion, gun control, crime, and government spending. Most of the candidate specific material was pro-North and published by the "Oliver North for U.S. Senate Committee." Another large section includes anti-North publications which vehemently deride North's character and satirize his campaign. There is very little material directly supporting Robb. Other material includes flyers for primary and write-in candidates, sample ballots and voting guides, and some material from a local progressive organization encouraging volunteer work.


  • 1987-1994

Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

Historical Information

The 1994 election in Virginia for U.S. Senate took place amidst a heated political climate. Conservatives were in an uproar over President Bill Clinton's social agenda, which included the signage of James Brady's gun control legislation in 1993, the implementation of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy to allow homosexuals in the military, and the attempt, as Republicans saw it, to "socialize" health care. The Virginian senatorial election embodied all of this tension and then some due to the running of Oliver North as the Republican candidate. In the late 1980s North was scrutinized for his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair where he admitted to approving the sale of weapons to Iran in exchange for hostages while using the profits to fund the Contras, the rightwing Nicaraguan insurgent group. Although North was convicted on three counts of felonies, charges were dropped in 1990 due to complications regarding witness testimony.

As a result of his involvement in the scandal and his extreme conservative views, North did not receive universal support from the Republican Party. Although he won the Republican Party nomination, he faced fellow Republican J. Marshall Coleman running as an independent and endorsed by the senior U.S. Senator from Virginia, Republican John Warner. Coleman ended up winning approximately 230,000 votes that would have presumably gone to North. Democratic incumbent Sen. Charles S. Robb won the race with less than 50% of the vote. Robb himself of the subject of moral scrutiny due to the publicizing of an affair he had with former Miss Virginia, Tai Collins, and for alleged drug use. Gov. Doug Wilder briefly entered the race as an independent adding to the drama.


0.7 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection is in alphabetical order.


A Guide to the Ray Bonis Collection of Oliver North for U.S. Senate Campaign Materials, 1987
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, M 381
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108