1859 Election Cycle
After being shut-out in statewide races in the Election of 1857, Republicans came back to sweep them all in November 1859 led by gubernatorial nominee Alexander Ramsey on the top of the ticket. The Republicans won elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor (Ignatius Donnelly), Secretary of State (James Baker), and Attorney General (Gordon Cole) were decided by single digits with Charles Scheffer winning his first of three terms for Treasurer by 10 points. Republicans also won the first of 10 consecutive elections to the U.S. House.
In December, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator James Shields lost his seat when the state legislature elected former Minnesota Territorial Governor and Republican nominee Morton Wilkinson.