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Alton B. Parker
William H. Taft
Henry G. Davis
The Republican nomination was a tough contest. Both living Republican former Presidents (Robert T. Lincoln and William McKinley) refused to run for another term. 1904 Presidential nominee Charles W. Fairbanks made it clear that he would seek the nomination, as did the previous vice presidential nominee, Elihu Root. Favorite sons Philander C. Knox and Robert M. La Follette also received support. However New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt had strong support in his home state and had launched a nationwide campaign in 1904 (though didn't receive the nomination). Roosevelt was popular with the people, but not with the big party bosses who had kept the 1904 nomination far out of Roosevelt's reach. The party bosses supported William Howard Taft of Ohio, a popular and likeable figure. Taft won the first two ballots but Roosevelt was able to convince delegates to switch to him following the second ballot. The nominees then split into two clear camps, Roosevelt and Taft gaining over 300 delegates per ballot, and Root and Fairbanks getting less than 200. La Follette and Knox both withdrew after losing support on the fifth and sixth ballots. Gradually Fairbanks and Root lost support to Taft and Roosevelt and on the 9th ballot Root withdrew and endorsed Roosevelt. On the tenth Fairbanks withdrew, but failed to endorse either candidate. On the 11th ballot there were only seven votes in it. Following hours of behind closed doors meetings between Roosevelt, Taft and Root they decided to endorse Roosevelt and withdraw. In return Roosevelt put forward Taft for his vice president (Roosevelt immediately regretted the idea) and the convention accepted. Roosevelt also named Root as his choice for Secretary of State, the first time a presidential candidate had announced any positions in his future cabinet. This was largely to reassure more conservative Republicans, and both Root and Taft were put forward to balance the ticket.