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1954 New York state election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1954 New York gubernatorial election
Flag of New York (1909–2020).svg

← 1950 November 2, 1954 1958 →
William Averell Harriman.jpg
Irving Ives.jpg
Nominee W. Averell Harriman Irving Ives
Party Democratic Republican
Alliance Liberal
Running mate George DeLuca J. Raymond McGovern
Popular vote 2,560,738 2,549,613
Percentage 49.61% 49.40%

1954 New York gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
County results

Harriman:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Ives:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%

Governor before election

Thomas Dewey

Elected Governor

W. Averell Harriman

The 1954 New York state election was held on November 2, 1954, to elect the governor, the lieutenant governor, the state comptroller, the attorney general, the chief judge and three associate judges of the New York Court of Appeals, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.


This was the first election in which the voters were required to cast a single joint vote for governor and lieutenant governor, following the amendment to the State Constitution in 1953.

Chief Judge Edmund H. Lewis would reach the constitutional age limit of 70 years at the end of the year. He was elected in 1953, and John Van Voorhis was re-appointed on January 1, 1954, to the seat vacated by Lewis, to fill the vacancy temporarily.

Albert Conway and Charles S. Desmond had been elected to the Court of Appeals in 1940, thus their 14-year terms would expire at the end of the year.


The Socialist Workers nominated David L. Weiss, electronics worker, for governor; Dorothy Haines, of Buffalo, for lieutenant governor; Harold Robins, of New York City, for comptroller; and Catherine Gratta (born c. 1922), machine inspector, of Brooklyn, for attorney general.[1]

The American Labor Party nominated John T. McManus for governor; actress Karen Morley for lieutenant governor; Ralph Powe, lawyer, for Comptroller (the only African-American running for a statewide elective office this year); and George W. Fish, lawyer, of Brooklyn, for attorney general.[2]

The Socialist Labor Party filed a petition to nominate candidates as the Industrial Government Party on September 30. The ticket had only three names: Nathan Karp for governor; Stephen Emery for lieutenant governor; and John Emanuel for comptroller.[3]

The Democratic Party held its convention on September 21, 1954, in New York City. The main contest was for governor which was between former Secretary of Commerce W. Averell Harriman and Representative Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. Harriman had the backing of Tammany Hall and city organizations, Roosevelt agreed to drop out in exchange for his nomination for attorney general. The next week the Liberal Party of New York endorsed the entire Democratic slate.[4]


Almost the whole Democratic/Liberal ticket was elected, only Republican Jacob K. Javits managed to be elected attorney general.

The incumbents Van Voorhis and Desmond were re-elected.

The American Labor Party lost its automatic ballot access and disbanded shortly afterwards.

1954 state election results
Office Democratic ticket Republican ticket Liberal ticket American Labor ticket Socialist Workers ticket Industrial Government ticket
Governor W. Averell Harriman 2,296,645 Irving M. Ives 2,549,613 W. Averell Harriman 264,093 John T. McManus 46,886 David L. Weiss 2,617 Nathan Karp[5] 1,720
Lieutenant Governor George B. DeLuca J. Raymond McGovern George B. DeLuca Karen Morley Dorothy Haines Stephen Emery[6]
Comptroller Arthur Levitt 2,260,193 Frank Del Vecchio[7] 2,490,184 Arthur Levitt 255,481 Ralph Powe 50,911 Harold Robins 3,569 John Emanuel 2,244
Attorney General Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. 2,185,272 Jacob K. Javits 2,603,858 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. 245,687 George W. Fish 44,287 Catherine Gratta 4,059
Chief Judge Albert Conway 2,263,688 Albert Conway 2,478,694 Albert Conway 261,153
Judge of the Court of Appeals Charles S. Desmond 2,256,907 Charles S. Desmond 2,459,319 Charles S. Desmond 259,498
Judge of the Court of Appeals John Van Voorhis 2,233,168 John Van Voorhis 2,450,362 George Rifkin[8] 280,656
Judge of the Court of Appeals Adrian P. Burke 2,297,823 Sydney F. Foster[9] 2,411,646 Adrian P. Burke 257,047

Note: The vote for governor is used to define ballot access, for automatic access are necessary 50,000 votes.


  1. ^ A.L.P. Legal Future At Stake on Tuesday; A.L.P. Must Poll 50,000 Votes To Remain a Recognized Party in NYT on October 30, 1954 (subscription required)
  2. ^ A.L.P. Legal Future At Stake on Tuesday; A.L.P. Must Poll 50,000 Votes To Remain a Recognized Party in NYT on October 30, 1954 (subscription required)
  3. ^ CANDIDATE SLATE FILED; Industrial Government Party to Seek Three Offices in NYT on October 1, 1954 (subscription required)
  4. ^ CANDIDATE SLATE FILED; Industrial Government Party to Seek Three Offices in NYT on October 1, 1954 (subscription required)
  5. ^ Nathan Karp (born c. 1915), clothing cutter, of Queens, ran also for lieutenant governor in 1950; for the U.S. Senate in 1952; and for Mayor of New York in 1953
  6. ^ Stephen Emery, subway train dispatcher, of New York City, ran also for the U.S. Senate in 1950
  7. ^ Frank Del Vecchio, of Syracuse, D.A. of Onondaga County, later New York Supreme Court justice (5th District)
  8. ^ George Rifkin (c. 1907-1972), labor lawyer, of Queens, GEORGE RIFKIN DIES; LABOR LAWYER, 65 Obit in NYT on February 19, 1972 (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Sydney Francis Foster". Historical Society of the New York Courts. Retrieved 2020-08-24.


See also

New York gubernatorial elections

This page was last edited on 17 May 2022, at 19:08
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