1958 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

Last updated
1958 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg
  1954 November 4, 1958 (1958-11-04) 1962  
  David L. Lawrence (1).jpg No image.svg
Nominee David Lawrence Art McGonigle
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate John Morgan Davis John Walker
Popular vote2,024,8521,948,769
Percentage50.8%48.9%

Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election Results by County, 1958.svg
County results
Lawrence:      50–60%     60–70%
McGonigle:      50-60%     60-70%     70-80%

Governor before election

George Leader
Democratic

Elected Governor

David Lawrence
Democratic

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1958 was held on November 4. Democrat David Lawrence defeated Republican Art McGonigle by a smaller than anticipated margin.

Contents

Primary

Democratic

David L. Lawrence easily dispatched incumbent Lieutenant Governor Roy Furman of Greene County, whose position within the party had been marginalized due to his poor relationship with Governor George Leader. Leader had once even described his colleague as unfit for the executive office. [1]

Pennsylvania gubernatorial Democratic primary election, 1958 [2]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic David Lawrence 730,229 74.45
Democratic Roy Furman 194,46419.83
Democratic Ed Lavelle56,1885.73

Republican

Arthur T. McGonigle's major primary opponent was Harold Stassen, the former Governor of Minnesota and security advisor to President Eisenhower who was known for making a serious run for the party's nomination for president in 1948. Stassen had moved to the state to take the presidency of the University of Pennsylvania and was determined to return to electoral politics. Although the liberal Republican Stassen was viewed as a carpetbagger by state party machinery, his name recognition gave him credibility. McGonigle waged a vigorous campaign to counter Stassen's challenge, which saw the bakery executive crisscross the state by car and gaining grassroots support. Bill Livengood, the longtime Secretary of Internal Affairs, also entered the race after failing to gain the support of his party for another term at this office, but his campaign gained little attention.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial Republican primary election, 1958 [3]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Art McGonigle 578,286 54.52
Republican Harold Stassen 344,04332.44
Republican Bill Livengood138,28413.04

Major Party Candidates

Democratic

Republican

Campaign

Pennsylvania's branches of the two major parties entered the election in disparate states. Democrats were riding their largest wave of electoral success in nearly a century and quickly coalesced behind David L. Lawrence, the Mayor of Pittsburgh who had gained national fame as a reformer for his massive urban renewal projects earlier in the decade, but who retained a powerful traditional political machine Although Lawrence worried that his age (he was 69 at the time of the campaign) and his pious Catholic faith [4] may prove problematic, he was highly touted by party leaders . He easily defeated Lieutenant Governor Roy Furman in the primary after Governor Leader described Furman as unfit for higher office. [1]

Republicans, conversely, were just exiting a time in which their organization had gone through both electoral and financial disarray. The party had brought in McGonigle, a Reading businessman who had transformed Bachman Bakeries into the world's largest pretzel maker, to clean up their monetary problems. Although McGonigle had no intention of running for public office, his bookkeeping successes lead to many party bosses viewing him as a viable dark horse candidate. [1] [5]

Lawrence entered the race as the clear favorite and ran on a platform emphasizing how the successes he had achieved in Pittsburgh, such as with environmentalism, economic development, race relations, and bureaucratic reform, could be applied to state government. He ran a generally quiet and issues-based campaign and grew frustrated with what he perceived as growing reactionary behavior from the opposing party. McGonigle’s campaign was more energized and continuously attacked Lawrence both for representing an archaic machine style of politics and for his position that the possibility of instituting a state income tax deserved study. [1]

Despite political winds that greatly favored Democrats in the national arena, the party's successes in the state were marginal. Lawrence’s campaign was never able to invigorate the base of urban voters and unionized workers in the manner that McGonigle did with key Republicans. A combination of Lawrence’s generally liberal viewpoints, powerful Appalachian anti-Catholicism [6] and contempt for his position as leader as a strong political machine undercut support in one of the greatest areas of Democratic support: the outlying industrial counties surrounding Pittsburgh's Allegheny County. Despite a generally disappointing vote total, [4] Lawrence was able to hang on to his frontrunner position to win the election. [1]

Results

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1958 [7] [8]
PartyCandidateRunning mateVotesPercentage
Democratic David Lawrence John Morgan Davis 2,024,85250.8%
Republican Art McGonigle John Walker 1,948,76948.9%
Socialist Workers Herman JohansenLouis Dirle8,677<0.01%
Totals3,986,854100.00%

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 [Kennedy, John J. (2006). Pennsylvania Elections: Statewide Contests From 1950-2004. University Press of America. ISBN   9780761832799.
  2. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=43857.
  3. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=43864.
  4. 1 2 McKenna, William J.; ‘The Influence of Religion in the Pennsylvania Elections of 1958 and 1960’; Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 29, no. 4 (October, 1962), pp. 407-419
  5. "PENNSYLVANIA: The New Twist". TIME Magazine. 21 April 1958. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  6. See Menendez, Albert J.; The Religious Factor in the 1960 Presidential Election: An Analysis of the Kennedy Victory Over Anti-Catholic Prejudice, pp. 193, 196 ISBN   0786484934
  7. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 728.
  8. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 727.

Related Research Articles

1792 United States presidential election Second quadrennial United States presidential election

The 1792 United States presidential election was the second quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Friday, November 2, to Wednesday, December 5, 1792. Incumbent President George Washington was elected to a second term by a unanimous vote in the electoral college, while John Adams was re-elected as vice president. Washington was essentially unopposed, but Adams faced a competitive re-election against Governor George Clinton of New York.

1944 United States presidential election American election

The 1944 United States presidential election was the 40th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 7, 1944. The election took place during World War II. Incumbent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Thomas E. Dewey to win an unprecedented fourth term. Until 1996, this would be the last time in which an incumbent Democratic president would win re-election after serving a full term in office.

1984 United States presidential election 50th quadrennial U.S. presidential election

The 1984 United States presidential election was the 50th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan defeated former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate, in a landslide victory, winning 525 electoral votes and 58.8 percent of the popular vote. No other candidate in United States history has ever matched Reagan's electoral vote total in a single election.

1986 United States Senate elections

The 1986 United States Senate elections was an election for the United States Senate in the middle of Ronald Reagan's second presidential term. The Republicans had to defend an unusually large number of freshman Senate incumbents who had been elected on President Ronald Reagan's coattails in 1980. Democrats won a net of eight seats, defeating seven freshman incumbents, picking up two Republican-held open seats and regaining control of the Senate for the first time since January 1981. The party not controlling the presidency gained seats, as usually occurs in mid-term elections.

1980 United States Senate elections

The 1980 United States Senate elections coincided with Ronald Reagan's victory in the presidential election. Reagan's large margin of victory over incumbent Jimmy Carter gave a huge boost to Republican Senate candidates, allowing them to flip 12 Democratic seats and win control of the chamber for the first time since the end of the 83rd Congress in January 1955.

1958 United States Senate elections

The 1958 United States Senate elections were elections for the United States Senate which occurred in the middle of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term.

1934 United States Senate elections

The United States Senate elections of 1934 were held in the middle of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term. During the Great Depression, voters strongly backed Roosevelt's New Deal and his allies in the Senate, with Democrats picking up a net of nine seats, giving them a supermajority.

1930 United States Senate elections

The United States Senate elections of 1930 occurred in the middle of Republican President Herbert Hoover's term. With the Great Depression beginning to take hold, Republican incumbents became unpopular, and Democrats picked up a net of eight seats, erasing the Republican gains from the previous election cycle. Republicans retained control of the U.S. Senate since Vice President Charles Curtis cast the tie-breaking vote. This was the first of four consecutive Senate elections in the Depression in which Democrats made enormous gains, achieving a cumulative pick-up of 34 seats.

1998 United States House of Representatives elections House elections for the 106th U.S. Congress

The 1998 United States House of Representatives elections were part of the midterm elections held during President Bill Clinton's second term. They were a major disappointment to the Republicans, who were expecting to gain seats due to the embarrassment Clinton suffered during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the "six-year itch" effect observed in most second-term midterm elections. However, the Republicans lost five seats to the Democrats, but retained a narrow majority in the House. A wave of Republican discontent with Speaker Newt Gingrich prompted him to resign shortly after the election; he was replaced by Congressman Dennis Hastert of Illinois.

David L. Lawrence

David Leo Lawrence was an American politician who served as the 37th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1963. The first Catholic elected as governor, Lawrence is the only mayor of Pittsburgh to have also been elected as Governor of Pennsylvania. He served four terms as mayor, from 1946 through 1959.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party (PAGOP) is the affiliate of the Republican Party in the state of Pennsylvania. It is headquartered in Harrisburg.

1948 Republican Party presidential primaries

From March 9 to June 1, 1948, voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for president in the 1948 United States presidential election. The nominee was selected through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1948 Republican National Convention held from June 21 to June 25, 1948, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with New York Governor, Thomas E. Dewey being nominated for president and California Governor, Earl Warren being nominated for Vice President. Dewey and Warren went on to lose the general election to the Democratic Party's ticket of incumbent President Harry S. Truman and Kentucky senator Alben W. Barkley

1994 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Election for governor of Pennsylvania, U.S.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1994 was held on November 8, 1994. The incumbent governor, Bob Casey, Sr. (Democrat), was barred from seeking a third term by the state constitution. The Republican Party nominated Congressman Tom Ridge, while the Democrats nominated Mark Singel, Casey's lieutenant governor. Ridge went on to win the race with 45% of the vote. Singel finished with 39%, and Constitution Party candidate Peg Luksik finished third, garnering 12% of the vote.

1978 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Election for governor of Pennsylvania, U.S.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1978 was held on November 7, 1978 between Republican Dick Thornburgh and Democrat Pete Flaherty.

1966 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Election for governor of Pennsylvania, U.S.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1966 was held on November 8. Republican Ray Shafer, the state's incumbent Lieutenant Governor, was elected to the state's highest office after holding off a charge from future governor Milton Shapp.

1962 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Election for governor of Pennsylvania, U.S.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1962 was held on November 6. Republican Bill Scranton and Democrat Richardson Dilworth, each a member of a powerful political family, faced off in a bitter campaign.

Arthur T. "Art" McGonigle (1905–1977) was a Pennsylvania businessman and the 1958 Republican Party nominee for state governor.

1954 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election Election for governor of Pennsylvania, U.S.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1954 was held on November 2. In what is considered a crucial realigning election for the state, Democratic State Senator George M. Leader defeated Republican incumbent Lieutenant Governor Lloyd Wood by a surprisingly large margin.

1959 Philadelphia municipal election 1959 municipal election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia's municipal election of November 3, 1959 involved contests for mayor, all seventeen city council seats, and several other executive and judicial offices. Citywide, the Democrats took majorities of over 200,000 votes, continuing their success from the elections four years earlier. Richardson Dilworth, who had been elected mayor in 1955, was re-elected over Republican nominee Harold Stassen. The Democrats also took fifteen of seventeen city council seats, the most seats allowed to any one party under the 1951 city charter. They further kept control of the other citywide offices. The election represented a continued consolidation of control by the Democrats after their citywide victories of the previous eight years.

Democrat William Proxmire won a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI). Also, Price Daniel (D-TX) left the Senate to become governor of Texas, and Democrat Ralph Yarborough won a special election for that Senate seat. The Democrats thus made a net gain of one seat. However, Congress was out of session at the time of the Democratic gain in Wisconsin, and the Republicans gained a Democratic-held seat only weeks after the next session started, when Republican John D. Hoblitzell Jr. was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Matthew M. Neely (D-WV).

References