1881 Election Cycle
In January, the state legislature reelected Republican U.S. Senator Samuel McMillan to a second term. In October, the state legislature elected former Republican U.S. Senator William Windom in a special election caused by his own resignation in March 1881 to become Secretary of the Treasury under President James Garfield.
In November, Republicans enjoyed their most dominating sweep of Minnesota’s eight partisan statewide offices on the ballot with their nominees winning each contest by between 26 and 30 points and setting records for the largest victory margins to date for each of these eight offices. Elected were Lucius Hubbard for Governor, Lieutenant Governor Charles Gilman, Secretary of State Fred Von Baumbach, W.W. Braden for Auditor, Attorney General William Hahn, Treasurer Charles Kittelson, James Baker for Railroad Commissioner, and Clerk of the Supreme Court S.H. Nichols.
The Apportionment of 1881 increased the number of state Senate districts by six from 41 to 47 and reduced the number of state House districts by three from 106 to 103.
Congressional apportionment, meanwhile, increased the size of the state’s U.S. House delegation from three to five seats.
Appointed Associate Justice William Mitchell was elected to the Supreme Court along with appointed Associate Justice D.A. Dickinson and Fourth Judicial District Judge Charles Vanderburgh. Appointed Associate Justice Greenleaf Clark was defeated.