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1885 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1885 Chicago mayoral election
← 1883 April 7, 1885 1887 →
Carter Harrison, Sr. - Brady-Handy.jpg
Nominee Carter Harrison Sr. Sidney Smith
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 43,352 42,977
Percentage 50.09% 49.66%

Mayor before election

Carter Harrison Sr.

Elected Mayor

Carter Harrison Sr.

The Chicago mayoral election of 1885 saw Democratic incumbent Carter Harrison Sr. win an unprecedented fourth term, receiving a majority of voter and narrowly defeating Republican Sidney Smith by a less than half-percent margin of victory.

The election was held on April 7.[1][2]

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Republicans exploited controversies which had tarnished the image of Harrison's administration. Unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and patronage had been key controversies throughout his mayoralty.[3] In February 1885, a grand jury charged Michael Cassius McDonald's right-hand man Joseph Mackin. The charges against Mackin compounded with the preexisting rumors relating to Harrison to foster a public sentiment that challenged the popularity of Harrison.[3]

Harrison lost the support of many liberal German voters that had previously voted for him.[3]


1885 Chicago mayoral election[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carter H. Harrison, Sr. (incumbent) 43,352 50.09
Republican Sidney Smith 42,977 49.66
Prohibition William Bush 221 0.26
Turnout 86,550

Less than 50% of the city's German population voted for Harrison.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Currey, Josiah Seymour (1912). "Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, a Century of Marvelous Growth".
  3. ^ a b c d Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97 Front Cover Richard Schneirov University of Illinois Press, 1998 (pages 166-67)
  4. ^ "RaceID=486011". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  5. ^ The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book. Chicago: Chicago Daily News. 1911. p. 538.
This page was last edited on 9 September 2019, at 09:46
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