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1947 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1947 Chicago mayoral election

← 1943 April 1, 1947 1951 →
Turnout38.6%[1] Decrease
Martin H. Kennelly (72-599).jpg
Nominee Martin H. Kennelly Russell Root
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 919,593 646,239
Percentage 58.73% 41.27%

Mayor before election

Edward J. Kelly

Elected Mayor

Martin H. Kennelly

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1947 Democrat Martin H. Kennelly defeated Republican Russell Root by a more-than 17% margin of victory.

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Democratic primary

After fourteen scandal-filled years in office, incumbent Democrat Edward J. Kelly was seen by many as unelectable in the year 1947.[2] The Cook County Democratic Party (led by Jacob Arvey) desired to run a candidate with reform bona-fides, wanting to avoid a candidates with allegation of mismanagement and corruption.[3] Thus, they convinced Kelly not to seek reelection.[3][4] This would be the last Chicago mayoral election until 2011 in which an incumbent did not seek reelection.[5][6] It was also the first since 1923 in which this was the case.

The Democratic Party opted to back Kennelly, a wealthy warehouse magnet. Kennelly had no prior experience in political office.[2]

Kennelly was the third mayoral candidate to reside in Edgewater, following Nathaniel C. Sears and William Emmett Dever, and would consequentially be the second Edgewater resident elected mayor (after Dever).[7]

Republican primary

Half the number of voters who participated in the Democratic primary participated in the Republican primary.[8]


The election saw a record-breaking total, with more votes being cast than in any Chicago mayoral election before it.[9] Kennelly won the greatest vote total of any mayoral candidate in Chicago history. However, voter turnout was the lowest it had ever been up to that point, and remained the lowest turnout for any Chicago mayoral election until 2003.[1]

Mayor of Chicago 1947 election[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Martin H. Kennelly 919,593 58.73
Republican Russell Root 646,239 41.27
Turnout 1,565,832


  1. ^ a b Daley: A Retrospective: A Historical Exploration of Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley by Chicago Tribune Staff Dec 18, 2012
  2. ^ a b Stewart, Russ (12 September 2018). "EMANUEL'S CHOICE WAS EITHER TO GET OUT OR TO GET BEAT". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b World War II Chicago By Paul Michael Green, Melvin G. Holli
  4. ^ Pacyyga, Dominic, Chicago: A Biography, 2009, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 324 ISBN 0-226-64431-6
  6. ^ Cichowsk, Marla (September 7, 2010). "Rules For Running For Chicago Mayor". Fox News. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Edgewater Teasers Vol. XVI No. 3 - FALL 2005". Edgewater History. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Kennelly, Democrat, Is Elected Chicago Mayor by Wide Margin; KENNELLY ELECTED MAYOR OF CHICAGO CHICAGO MAYORALTY CHANGES HANDS". New York Times. April 2, 1947. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  10. ^ "RaceID=8131". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
This page was last edited on 5 July 2019, at 04:28
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