Gerald Ford Campaign Buttons. Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. In 1976, after a fierce primary challenge from Ronald Reagan, Ford won the Republican presidential nomination and picked as his vice presidential running mate Kansas Senator Robert Dole. Ford lost the November election to Jimmy Carter. Featured here are Gerald Fordcampaign buttons from his 1976 presidential campaign. Also available are Ford Dole campaign buttons. Ford began his political career when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1948 from the state of Michigan.