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1970 United States gubernatorial elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1970 United States gubernatorial elections

← 1969 3 November 1970 1971 →

37 governorships
35 states; 2 territories
  Majority party Minority party
Party Democratic Republican
Seats before 18 32
Seats won 29 21
Seat change Increase11 Decrease11

1970 Gubernatorial election map.svg
  Democratic holds
  Democratic pickups
  Republican holds
  Republican pickups

United States gubernatorial elections were held on 3 November 1970, in 35 states and two territories.

During this election, the Democrats won a number of the governorships up for re-election via many ways, such as retirement of incumbent, term limits, or defeat of incumbent.

In 1970, Arizona, New Mexico and Wisconsin elected their governors to four-year terms for the first time, instead of two-year terms, this election coincided with the Senate and the House elections.

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In Alabama, Governor Albert Brewer (who succeeded to the governorship upon Lurleen Wallace's death in 1968) had to endure a very nasty Democratic primary against former Governor George Wallace.[1] In addition, there were no Republicans in the race for governor. Wallace won the Democratic primary and in November the election.


In Alaska, then-Lt. Gov. Keith Miller had gotten the job of governor in 1969 after Walter Hickel resigned to be part of President Nixon's Cabinet.[2][3] He lost in 1970 to former Governor William Egan.


In Arizona, governors were elected to serve two-year terms until 1970, when Jack Richard Williams was the first governor to be elected to a four-year term.[4][5] Previously, Williams had been elected governor twice to two-year terms in 1966[6] and in 1968.[7] Arizona made the switch official from a two-year term to a four-year term in 1968 with an amendment.[8]


In Arkansas, Winthrop Rockefeller was the first Republican governor in Arkansas since the Reconstruction period.[9] He was defeated in his bid for a third term, by the Democratic challenger Dale Bumpers.


Incumbent Republican Governor and future President Ronald Reagan was elected to a second term as governor with about 53% of the vote over Speaker of the State Assembly Jesse Unruh.


Incumbent John Dempsey, a Democrat, did not seek re-election. Sixth District Congressman Thomas Joseph Meskill (Republican) defeated First District Congressman Emilio Q. Daddario (Democratic) 53.76% to 46.23%.


In Colorado, John Arthur Love won re-election. He would served until 1973, when he would resign to become the first head of Energy Policy under President Nixon.[10]


Florida's Claude R. Kirk, Jr. was another 'first Republican governor since Reconstruction' as well (he switched from Democrat to Republican early on),[11] and was defeated by the Democrat Reubin Askew.


In Georgia, governors would be limited to one term until George Busbee was allowed[by whom?] to serve two,[when?] and was the first governor to serve two consecutive terms.[12]


In Hawaii, Burns won another term in 1970, but in 1973, Burns had health problems and his Lt. Gov., George Ariyoshi, took over-as acting governor, and in 1974, with Burns' retirement, won a term in his own right.[13] Burns died in 1975.[14]


Iowa also had its governors serving two-year terms until Robert D. Ray won a four-year term in 1974.[15] Previously, Ray had won a two-year term in 1968,[16] a two-year term this year (1970),[17] and would win another two-year term in 1972.[18] Iowa made the four-year term switch official with an amendment to the state's constitution in 1972.[19]


Like Arizona and Iowa, Kansas also had its governors serving two-year terms until 1974, when a constitutional amendment was added, creating a four-year term system for governors.[20] Docking was elected governor in 1966,[21] 1968,[22] 1970,[23] and would get elected in 1972.[24] The first governor to get a four-year term was Robert Frederick Bennett in 1974.[25]


Beginning with the 1962 governor's race, Maine switched from a two-year term system to a four-year term system for the governors.[26] John H. Reed was the first Maine governor to be elected to a four-year term.[27]


In Maryland, Mandel first won the governorship in 1969 in a special election when Agnew resigned for the vice presidency.[28]

In 1970, Mandel ran for a full term and won.[29]


In 1966, Massachusetts switched from a two-year to four-year terms for governors, and John A. Volpe was the first Massachusetts governor to get a four-year term. He had previously been elected to two-year terms in 1960 and in 1964. Volpe resigned in 1969 to become President Nixon's Secretary of Transportation. Francis W. Sargent then became acting governor. In 1970, Sargent got a term in his own right.[30][31]


In 1963, Michigan changed governors' terms from two years to four years.[32] George W. Romney had won two-year terms in 1962[33] and 1964,[34] and a four-year term in 1966.[35] He resigned in 1969 to be Nixon's Housing & Urban Development Secretary.[35] William Milliken became governor,[36] and got a full term in 1970.[37]


In 1962, voters in Nebraska approved of an amendment, effective with the 1966 governor's race, that switched from two-year to four-year terms for governors. In 1966, the "two consecutive terms" rule was established.[38] Norbert Tiemann was the first Nebraskan to get a four-year term with the 1966 governor's race.[39] J. James Exon was elected governor.

New Mexico

New Mexico also had a two-year term for governors until 1970, when the state constitution was changed to a four-year term for governors-without being allowed to have two consecutive terms.[40] As for the "no two consecutive terms" rule, that was still on the books until 1991, when thanks to a change in the state's constitution, Bruce King was eligible for two consecutive terms.[41] King was elected to the first of three non-consecutive terms.

New York

In New York, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller won re-election to a fourth term. Rockefeller served until 1973, when he resigned.[42]


In Pennsylvania, although the constitution was changed to allow governors to have two consecutive terms, the rule didn't apply to then current Gov. Raymond P. Shafer.[43] The election was won by Milton Shapp.

South Carolina

Governors in South Carolina weren't allowed two consecutive terms until 1980, when an amendment to the constitution was added. Richard Riley was the first South Carolina governor to have two consecutive terms with his 1982 re-election.[44] John C. West won election.

South Dakota

South Dakota also had governors on two-year terms until 1972, when a constitutional amendment allowed the governor to have a four-year term.[45][46] Richard F. Kneip would be the first governor to be elected to a four-year term, though he resigned to accept an appointment.[47] Kneip, elected governor for a two-year term this year (1970), would be re-elected for another two-year term in 1972.[48][49]


In 1978, Tennessee changed its constitution to allow the governors to serve two consecutive terms.[50][51] Winfield Dunn was elected this (1970) year.


In 1968, Wisconsin changed its constitution from a two-year term for governor to a four-year term.[52] Upon his election this year, Patrick Lucey would become the first governor to serve a four-year term (see Wisconsin gubernatorial elections).


Governor Stanley K. Hathaway won re-election to a second four-year term.

United States gubernatorial elections 1970 chart

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing candidates
Alabama Albert Brewer Democratic Defeated in runoff primary,[53][54] Democratic victory Alabama's gov. race general election:
George Wallace (Democratic) 74.51%
John L. Cashin, Jr. (National Democratic Party of Alabama) 14.68%
A. C. Shelton (Independent) 8.85%
Jerome B. Couch (Prohibition) 1.14%
Menter G. Walker (Independent) 0.41%
John Watts (Whig) 0.41%[55]
Alaska Keith Miller Republican Defeated, 46.13%, Democratic victory William Egan (Democratic) 52.38%
Ralph M. Anderson (American Independent) 1.49%[56]
Arizona Jack Richard Williams Republican Re-elected, 50.89% Raul Hector Castro (Democratic) 49.11%[57]
Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller Republican Defeated, 32.41%, Democratic victory Dale Bumpers (Democratic) 61.66%
Walter L. Carruth (American) 5.93%[58]
California Ronald Reagan Republican Re-elected, 52.84% Jesse M. Unruh (Democratic) 45.14%
Ricardo Romo (Peace & Freedom) 1.01%
William K. Shearer (American Independent) 1.01%[59]
Colorado John Arthur Love Republican Re-elected, 52.46% Mark Hogan (Democratic) 45.24%
Albert Gurule (La Raza Unida) 1.82%
Walter R. Plankinton (American Independent) 0.31%
James Lauderdale (Socialist Workers) 0.17%[60]
Connecticut John N. Dempsey Democratic Retired,[61] Republican victory Thomas Joseph Meskill (Republican) 53.76%
Emilio Q. Daddario (Democratic) 46.23%[62]
Florida Claude R. Kirk, Jr. Republican Defeated, 43.12% Reubin Askew (Democratic) 56.88%[63]
Georgia Lester Maddox Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Jimmy Carter (Democratic) 59.28%
Hal Suit (Republican) 40.60%
Write-ins 0.12%[64]
Hawaii John A. Burns Democratic Re-elected, 57.65% Samuel Pailthorpe King (Republican) 42.35%[65]
Idaho Don Samuelson Republican Defeated, 47.78% Cecil D. Andrus (Democratic) 52.22%[66]
Iowa Robert D. Ray Republican Re-elected, 50.98% Robert D. Fulton (Democratic) 46.62%
Robert Dilley (American Independent) 2.39%[17]
Kansas Robert Docking Democratic Re-elected, 54.30% Kent Frizzell (Republican) 44.72%
P. Everett Sperry (Conservative) 0.58%
Marshall Uncapher (Prohibition) 0.41%[23]
Maine Kenneth M. Curtis Democratic Re-elected, 50.14% James S. Erwin (Republican) 49.86%[67]
Maryland Marvin Mandel Democratic Elected to a full term, 65.73% Charles Stanley Blair (Republican) 32.40%
Robert Woods Merkle, Sr. (American) 1.97%[29]
Massachusetts Francis W. Sargent Republican Elected to a full term, 56.67% Kevin H. White (Democratic) 42.79%
Henning A. Blomen (Socialist Labor) 0.36%
John C. Hedges (Prohibition) 0.17%[68]
Michigan William Milliken Republican Elected to a full term, 50.41% Sander Levin (Democratic) 48.74%
James L. McCormick (American Independent) 0.68%
George Bouse (Socialist Workers) 0.08%
James Horvath (Socialist Labor) 0.08%[37]
Minnesota Harold LeVander Republican Retired, Democratic victory Wendell Anderson (Democratic–Farmer–Labor) 54.04%
Douglas M. Head (Republican) 45.54%
Karl H. Heck (Industrial Government) 0.35%
Write in Jack O. Kirkham (Independent) 0.07%[69]
Nebraska Norbert Tiemann Republican Defeated, 43.76%, Democratic victory J. James Exon (Democratic) 53.84%
Albert C. Walsh (American) 2.36%[70]
Nevada Paul Laxalt Republican Retired, Democratic victory Mike O'Callaghan (Democratic) 48.10%
Edward Fike (Republican) 43.81%
Charles E. Springer (Independent) 4.41%
Daniel M. Hansen (Independent American) 3.68%[71]
New Hampshire Walter R. Peterson, Jr. Republican Re-elected, 45.99% Roger J. Crowley (Democratic) 44.10%
Meldrim Thomson, Jr. (American) 9.91%
Write ins 0.01%[72]
New Mexico David F. Cargo Republican Term-limited, Democratic victory Bruce King (Democratic) 51.26%
Pete Domenici (Republican) 46.37%
John A. Salazar (Independent New Mexican) 1.60%
Wilfredo Sedillo (People's Constitutional) 0.77%[73]
New York Nelson A. Rockefeller Republican Re-elected, 52.41% Arthur J. Goldberg (Democratic) 40.27%
Paul Adams (Conservative) 7.03%
Rasheed Storey (Communist) 0.13%
Clifton DeBerry (Socialist Workers) 0.10%
Stephen Emery (Socialist Labor) 0.07%[42]
Ohio Jim Rhodes Republican Term-limited,[74] Democratic victory John J. Gilligan (Democratic) 54.19%
Roger Cloud 43.42%
Edward T. Lawton (American Independent) 1.93%
Joseph Pirincin (Socialist Labor) 0.44%
Write in John A. Crites (Independent) 0.01%[75]
Oklahoma Dewey F. Bartlett Republican Defeated, 48.11%, Democratic victory David Hall (Democratic) 48.42%
Reuel Little (American) 3.48%[76]
Oregon Tom McCall Republican Re-elected, 55.60% Robert W. Straub (Democratic) 44.17%
Write in Doug Yeager (Independent) 0.23%[77]
Pennsylvania Raymond P. Shafer Republican Term-limited, Democratic victory Milton Shapp (Democratic) 55.22%
Raymond J. Broderick (Republican) 41.70%
Andrew J. Watson (Constitutional) 2.25%
Francis McGeever (American Independent) 0.59%
George S. Taylor (Socialist Labor) 0.10%
Clarissa Cain (Consumer) 0.08%
Pearl Chertov (Socialist Workers) 0.07%[78]
Rhode Island Frank Licht Democratic Re-elected, 50.07% Herbert F. DeSimone (Republican) 49.53%
John E. Powers (Socialist Workers) 0.40%[79]
South Carolina Robert Evander McNair Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory John C. West (Democratic) 51.68%
Albert Watson (Republican) 45.63%
A.W. "Red" Bethea (Independent) 2.01%
Write in Thomas D. Broadwater (United Citizens) 0.68%[80]
South Dakota Frank Farrar Republican Defeated, 45.15% Richard F. Kneip 54.85%[48]
Tennessee Buford Ellington Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Winfield Dunn (Republican) 51.95%
John Jay Hooker (Democratic) 45.98%
Douglas L. Heinsohn (American) 2.07%[81]
Texas Preston Smith Democratic Re-elected, 53.43% Paul Eggers (Republican) 46.55%
Others 0.02%[82]
Vermont Deane C. Davis Republican Re-elected, 56.97% Leo O'Brien, Jr. (Democratic) 43.01%
Others 0.03%[83]
Wisconsin Warren P. Knowles Republican Retired, Democratic victory Patrick Lucey (Democratic) 54.24%
Jack B. Olson (Republican) 44.88%
Leo James McDonald (American) 0.67%
Georgia Cozzini (Independent) 0.10%
Samuel K. Hunt (Independent) 0.07%
Myrtle Kastner (Independent) 0.05%[84]
Wyoming Stanley K. Hathaway Republican Re-elected, 62.79% John J. Rooney (Democratic) 37.21%[85]

See also


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  10. ^ "New Page 3". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Former Governors' Bios". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  12. ^ "George Busbee". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  13. ^ "George Ryoichi Ariyoshi". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  14. ^ "John Anthony Burns". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  15. ^ "IA Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
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  17. ^ a b "IA Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  18. ^ "IA Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Amendments to the Constitution of Iowa". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  20. ^ H. Edward Flentje and Joseph Aistrup (2010). Kansas Politics and Government: The Clash of Political Cultures (Google eBook). University of Nebraska Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780803269194. Retrieved September 3, 2012.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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  58. ^ "AR Governor". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  59. ^ "CA Governor". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
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  64. ^ "GA Governor". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  65. ^ "HI Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  66. ^ "ID Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  67. ^ "ME Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
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  69. ^ "MN Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  70. ^ "NE Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  71. ^ "NV Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  72. ^ "NH Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
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  74. ^ "James A. Rhodes". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  75. ^ "OH Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  76. ^ "OK Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  77. ^ "OR Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  78. ^ "PA Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  79. ^ "RI Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  80. ^ "SC Governor". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
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  82. ^ "TX Governor". Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  83. ^ "VT Governor". Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  84. ^ "WI Governor". Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  85. ^ "WY Governor Race". Retrieved 6 September 2012.
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