1875 Election Cycle
In February, the state legislature elected Republican Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Samuel McMillan to the U.S. Senate.
The 1875 cycle was the first for the direct election for the office of the Railroad Commissioner (formerly a multi-member appointed position). This would be the first of five cycles before the office would revert back to appointments. Appointed Commissioner and former Governor William Marshall Republicans won the race for the GOP. Republicans held six other statewide offices for Governor (John Pillsbury), Lieutenant Governor (James Wakefield), Secretary of State (John Irgens), Attorney General (George Wilson), Auditor (O.P. Whitcomb), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (S.H. Nichols) by double-digits. Three-term Supreme Court Clerk Sherwood Hough did not receive the Republican nomination, however, and placed a distant fourth as the Anti-Monopoly nominee with just 0.8 percent. The GOP also picked up the office of state Treasurer with incumbent Edwin Dyke running as the Anti-Monopoly nominee and winning just 2.4 percent.
Republicans began the 18th Legislature in 1876 growing their lead to 24-17 in the Senate and 65-41 in the House.
Appointed Justice James Gilfillan was elected to the Supreme Court.