Parker faced an uphill battle in winning the Senate seat. First, the state was dominated by the Democratic Party and any Republican politician faced a tough time seeking election. Although there was hope for Republicans because Barry Goldwater had won the state in the 1964 presidential election. Secondly, most of the resources of the Republican party were allocated for Strom Thurmond's re-election campaign and Joseph O. Rogers, Jr.gubernatorial election. Nevertheless, Parker was able to kept the race close and almost unseated Hollings in the general election.
Hollings first Senate victory was also his closest and he was easily re-elected in 1968 (full term), 1974, 1980, and 1986, with somewhat tougher races in 1992 and 1998, although neither with a margin as narrow as that of his initial election. He eventually became seventh longest-serving senator in history (just behind Robert Byrd, Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye, Carl Hayden and John C. Stennis). He and Thurmond were also the longest-serving Senate duo. Because of this, despite his length of service, Hollings spent 36 years as the junior Senator, even though - with his penultimate term - he had gained seniority of all but four of his colleagues - Byrd, Thurmond, Inouye and Kennedy. Hollings went on to become a nationally important political figure, e.g., serving as Chairman of the Budget committee.
"Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of South Carolina to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume II. Columbia, SC: 1967, pp. 16, 41.