Thurmond generally ignored Ravenel on the campaign and refused to debate him. When they did cross paths, Thurmond criticized Ravenel for never having held a political office. Ravenel did not help his cause by his actions in the 1974 gubernatorial race when he refused to endorse the Democratic nominee after he had been disqualified. This irritated many Democrats and they also accused him of being nothing more than a liberal New Yorker. Age was beginning to become an issue with Thurmond, so to combat perceptions of old age, Thurmond often appeared with his children on the campaign trail. While 1978 was generally a Democratic year, Thurmond was able to pull off a commanding victory over Ravenel.