Joseph McCarthy was a very prominent politician from the years of 1950 to 1954. Today he still remains a controversial figure in the minds of historians and Americans alike for being the leader of McCarthyism taken from his name also known as the red scare. .
When Joseph McCarthy first ran for the senate seat in 1944 he lost against Alexander Wiley. After this setback he choose to prepare to run against the another senator from Wisconsin by the name of Robert La Follette Jr, who was set to go up for re-election in 1947. La Follette was a republican therefore McCarthy only had to beat him in the primaries seeing as he too was a republican. According to Jesse Friedman's "Fight for America- Joseph McCarthy's Campaign used lots of money, along with a dash of luck. He sent letters and postcards to almost everyone in Wisconsin, made half a dozen speeches a day, and attacked La Follette ruthlessly. (Friedman, Pg 34) .
McCarthy won the primaries against La Follette due to the fact that La Follette waited until the last week before the primaries to campaign. Interestingly enough, he got the labor vote, which was dominated by Communists (Friedman, 35) .
His opponent to the senate seat that year was a democrat named professor Howard McMurray. McCarthy won the senate seat against McMurray with a 2:1 ratio. .
During the first three years as senator (before the red scare) McCarthy ran some shady deals such as one with the Pepsi Company. At the time sugar was in short supply so the department of agriculture put a strict ration of sugar. According to Jack Anderson in his book McCarthy: The Man, The Senator, The ism', the Allied Molasses Company, sugar supplier for Pepsi, somehow got a hold of a million and a half gallons of high-grade sugar-cane syrup, which it refined and sold to Pepsi. For unknown reasons, this sugar slipped past the rations, and the Department of Agriculture demanded that the rations for Allied Molasses be cut back.