Former Montgomery Ward general counsel Dan Walker started his campaign for governor in 1971 by walking 1,197 miles from the Ohio River to the Wisconsin border in 116 days. He defeated Lt. Gov. Paul Simon in the 1972 primary and Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie in November. Gov. Walker was defeated in the Democratic primary of 1976 by former Secretary of State Mike Howlett but Howlett also lost to Gov. Jim Thompson (R) in the November 1976 general election.