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1879 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1879 Chicago mayoral election
← 1877 April 1, 1879 1881 →
Carter Harrison Sr. In 1876 (1).jpg
Nominee Carter Harrison Sr. Abner Wright Ernest Schmidt
Party Democratic Republican Socialist Labor
Popular vote 25,685 20,496 11,829
Percentage 44.28% 35.33% 20.39%

Mayor before election

Monroe Heath

Elected Mayor

Carter Harrison Sr.

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1877 Democrat Carter Harrison Sr. defeated both Republican Abner Wright and socialist Ernest Schmidt in a three-way race. Harrison had a nearly nine point margin of victory.

Two-term incumbent Monroe Heath (who, at the time, was the longest-serving mayor in the city's history) did not run for reelection.

The election took place on April 1.[1][2]

This was the first of six mayoral elections in which Harrison would ultimately compete, and the first of five of which he would win.

Harrison's victory was assisted by strong voter turnout.[2]

The previous year the Socialist Labor Party had experienced several successes, seeing the election of one of its nominees for Chicago alderman be elected in the Spring 1878 elections and three of its nominees for state legislature be elected in the Fall 1878 elections.[3] Fresh off of these successes, the Socialist Labor Party fielded a full ticket of candidates for in municipal elections. Socialist.[4] Their mayoral nominee Dr. Ernest Schmidt helped lead the party to more than double its vote share in the city's elections and see the election of an additional three aldermen.[3][2] Schmidt had a strong reputation of being "incorruptible".[2] The Socialist Labor Party had proved particularly adept at attracting German Republican and liberal voters away from the Republican Party.[2] They also attracted strong support from the city's Bohemian population.[2]

After the municipal elections some blamed the Socialist Labor Party for having a spoiler effect, having siphoned away would-be Republican supporters.[2] The Illinois Staats-Zeitung wrote that, "The socialist have succeeded in deciding the election, to be sure not the advantage of their own candidates, but rather for the Democrats against the Republicans."[2] Dr. Schmidt agreed that blame for the underperformance of the Republican ticket could be attributed to the Republican Party's loss of liberal German voters to the Socialist Labor Party.[2] Nevertheless, others have cast doubt on the idea that Schmidt acted as a spoiler to Wright's campaign.[5]


1879 Chicago mayoral election[6][7][8][9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carter Harrison Sr. 25,685 44.28
Republican Abner Wright 20,496 35.33
Socialist Labor Ernest Schmidt 11,829 20.39
Turnout 58,010


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chicago in the Age of Capital: Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction by John B. Jentz, Richard Schneirov; University of Illinois Press, Apr 15, 2012 (page 291)
  3. ^ a b The Socialist Party of America by Jack Ross
  4. ^ Before the Battle. Svornost -- March 31, 1879
  5. ^ To Serve and Collect: Chicago Politics and Police Corruption from the Lager Beer Riot to the Summerdale Scandal, 1855-1960 Portada Richard Lindberg SIU Press, 1998 (page 112)
  6. ^ "RaceID=486014". Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  7. ^ The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book. Chicago: Chicago Daily News. 1911. p. 538.
  8. ^ "RaceID=486045". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  9. ^ History of Chicago, Illinois: Pre-historic agencies ; Rise and fall of French dominion ; First permanent settlement ; The massacre ; Rudimentary by John Moses, Munsell & Company, 1895

This page was last edited on 11 May 2019, at 22:08
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