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1935 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1935 Chicago mayoral election

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Chicago Mayor discusses Illinois political situation with President. Washington, D.C., Jan. 18. Mayor Edward Kelly of Chicago arriving at the White House for a conference with President LCCN2016872892 (cropped).jpg
Emil C. Wetten.png
Nominee Edward J. Kelly Emil C. Wetten Newton Jenkins
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 798,150 166,571 87,726
Percentage 75.84% 15.83% 8.34%

Mayor before election

Edward J. Kelly

Elected Mayor

Edward J. Kelly

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1935 incumbent Edward J. Kelly (who had been appointed to the a mayoral office left vacant after the assassination of Anton Cermak) defeated Republican Emil C. Wetten and independent candidate Newton Jenkins by a landslide 60% margin of victory


Democratic primary

Interim mayor Edward J. Kelly ran for election to a full first term. He had been appointed as interim mayor by the Chicago City Council following the death in office of Anton Cermak and subsequent resignation of acting mayor Frank J. Corr.


Despite a blizzard, a substantial number of Chicago voters participated in the Democratic mayoral primary.[1] Edward J. Kelly won what was the greatest plurality ever in a Chicago mayoral primary.[1]

Chicago Democratic mayoral primary (February 25, 1935)[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Edward J. Kelly (incumbent) 479,825 88.92
Democratic Martin Powroznik 39,153 7.26
Democratic James Fred Robertson 15,541 2.88
Democratic John P. O'Meara 5,077 0.94
Turnout 539,596 100.00

Republican primary

The Republican primary was won by Emil C. Wetten. Wetten was an attorney that had served in such roles as the city's First Assistant Corporation Counsel.[3]

Mortimer B. Flynn had been president of the Pottinger-Flynn Coal Company.[4][5]

Unsuccessful candidate Grace A. Gray was the first woman ever to file as a candidate for mayor of Chicago.[6]

The primary illustrated a collapse in Chicagoans' support for the Republican Party. In the previous election, more than five times as many voters had participated in the Republican primary.[1]


Chicago Republican mayoral primary (February 25, 1935)[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Emil C. Wetten 69,600 59.73
Republican Mortimer B. Flynn 37,061 31.80
Republican Grace Gray 9,868 8.47
Turnout 116,529 100.00

Independent candidates

Newton Jenkins ran as an independent candidate. Jenkins promoted himself as a "progressive" candidate.[8][9]

Jenkins had run for office before. During the 1930 Illinois U.S. Senate race he had been one of several candidates challenging incumbent Charles S. Deneen for the Republican Party nomination. Ultimately, Ruth Hanna McCormick had received the Republican nomination.[10]

Jenkins was very openly antisemetic.[11][12]

Jenkins' run was supported by the Third Party, an effort to create a new party. The party claimed itself to be spun-off from the progressive Republican movement.[13] The party, which intended to use "U.S., Unite" as its national slogan and utilize the buffalo as its mascot, sought to use Jenkins' candidacy as a national launchpad for the party.[13][11] This effort ultimately evolved into the short-lived Union Party.[12][11]

General election

Wetten framed his campaign against Kelly as a campaign against machine politics.[14]


Mayor of Chicago 1935 election[15] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Edward J. Kelly (incumbent) 798,150 75.84
Republican Emil C. Wetten 166,571 15.83
Independent Newton Jenkins 87,726 8.34
Turnout 1,052,447 100.00

Kelly received 84.84% of the Polish-American vote, while Wetten received 8.08%.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "CHICAGO MAYOR WINS LANDSLIDE" Madera Tribune, Volume LXV, Number 97, 27 February 1935
  2. ^ "RaceID=609081". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "WOMEN CHAUFFEURS BLAMED.; Chicago 0fficial Says They and Children Cause Most Accidents". New York Times. 21 August 1908. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  4. ^ Official Reference Book: Press Club of Chicago (page 263)
  5. ^ Chicago Tribune 17-Jun-1923 (page 4)
  6. ^,587786
  7. ^ "RaceID=609080". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 35 (page 220)
  9. ^
  10. ^ Strickland, Arvarh E. “‘The Lady Candidate’: Ruth Hanna McCormick and the Senatorial Election of 1930.” Illinois Historical Journal, vol. 88, no. 3, 1995, pp. 189–202. JSTOR, JSTOR.
  11. ^ a b c [ Nazi Spies and American “Patriots” By John L. Spivak]
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ a b "THIRD PARTY TRIES WINGS IN CHICAGO; Newton Jenkins Is Entered for Mayor Under Symbol of the American Buffalo". New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  14. ^ The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition, fourth edition by Paul M. Green, Melvin G. Holli SIU Press, Jan 10, 2013
  15. ^ "RaceID=123289". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Kantowicz, Edward. “The Emergence of the Polish-Democratic Vote in Chicago.” Polish American Studies, vol. 29, no. 1/2, 1972, pp. 67–80. JSTOR, JSTOR
This page was last edited on 4 July 2019, at 22:11
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