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1972 Illinois gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1972 Illinois gubernatorial election

← 1968 (Gov)
1968 (Lt. Gov)
November 7, 1972 1976 →
Turnout75.28% Decrease 4.11 pp
Dan Walker (1974) (1).jpg
Richard B. Ogilvie.jpg
Nominee Dan Walker Richard B. Ogilvie
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Neil Hartigan James D. Nowlan
Popular vote 2,371,303 2,293,809
Percentage 50.7% 49.0%

Illinois gubernatorial election, 1972.svg
County Results
Walker:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Ogilvie:      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Richard B. Ogilvie

Elected Governor

Dan Walker

The Illinois gubernatorial election of 1972 was held in Illinois on November 7, 1972.[1] The Republican nominee, incumbent Governor Richard B. Ogilvie lost reelection to the Democratic candidate, Dan Walker, who became the state's last Democratic governor of the 20th century.

This was the first election in which the lieutenant governor of Illinois ran on a ticket with the gubernatorial candidate for the general election.

Election information

This was the first gubernatorial elections in which gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates were elected on a ticket in the general election, per the 1970 Constitution of Illinois.

The election coincided with those for federal offices (United States President, Senate, and House) and those for other state offices.[1] The election was part of the 1972 Illinois elections. Walker was the last Democrat to be elected governor of Illinois until Rod Blagojevich in 2002.

The primaries were held on March 21, 1972.[1]


Turnout in the primaries saw 36.09% in the gubernatorial primaries, with a total of 2,015,694 votes cast, and 30.46% in the lieutenant gubernatorial primary, with 1,701,418 votes cast.[1]

Turnout during the general election was 75.28%, with 4,679,043 votes cast.[1]

Democratic primaries


In an upset, Dan Walker won a close primary against then-Lt. Governor Paul Simon. Paul Simon had been the candidate slated by the state party.

1972 Democratic gubernatorial primary, Illinois[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Daniel Walker 735,193 51.41 N/A
Democratic Paul Simon 694,900 48.59 N/A
Write-in Others 24 0.00 N/A
Majority 40,923 2.82
Total votes 1,430,117

Lieutenant Governor

Neil Hartigan, the candidate slated by the state party, defeated Carbondale mayor Neal Eckert, Walker's declared preferred running-mate.

Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil F. Hartigan 802,449 65.37
Democratic Neal E. Eckert 425,021 34.63
Write-in Others 16 0.00
Total votes 1,227,486 100

Republican primary


Ogilvie won renomination easily. His main rival, John M. Mathis was a favorite son of the Peoria area, and fared poorly elsewhere.

1972 Republican gubernatorial primary, Illinois[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Richard B. Ogilvie (incumbent) 442,323 75.54 N/A
Republican John M. Mathis 143,053 24.43 N/A
Write-in Others 201 0.03 N/A
Majority 299,270 51.11
Total votes 585,577

Lieutenant Governor

James D. Nowlan won the Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor, running unopposed.

Republican lieutenant gubernatorial primary[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James D. Nowlan 473,916 100
Write-in Others 16 0.00
Total votes 473,932 100

General election

1972 gubernatorial election, Illinois[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Daniel Walker/Neil F. Hartigan 2,371,303 50.68 +2.31
Republican Richard B. Ogilvie (incumbent)/James D. Nowland 2,293,809 49.02 -2.19
Socialist Labor George LaForest/Stanley L. Prorok 7,966 0.17 -0.26
Communist Ishmael Flory/Theodore Pearson 4,592 0.10 N/A
Write-in Others 1,373 0.03 N/A
Majority 77,494 1.66 -1.18
Total votes 4,679,043


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "OFFICIAL VOTE Cast at the GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 7, 1972 JUDICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION GENERAL PRIMARY, MARCH, 21, 1972" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 26 June 2020.[permanent dead link]
This page was last edited on 3 February 2021, at 08:29
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