1895 Election Cycle

In January, the state legislature elected Republican Governor Knute Nelson to the U.S. Senate, knocking incumbent Republican William Washburn out of office by a 102-36 margin.


Date Office Stage Winners Details
01/23/1895 U.S. Senate General Knute Nelson (Republican) won with 102 votes (61.08%) and a winning margin of +39.52
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Knute Nelson Man Republican 102 61.08
William Drew (W.D.) Washburn, Sr. Incumbent Man Republican 36 21.56
Ignatius Donnelly Man People's 13 7.78
Solomon G. Comstock Man Republican 9 5.39
William B. Mitchell Man Republican 4 2.40
James T. McCleary Man Republican 2 1.20
John Lind Man Republican 1 0.60

Election by the state legislature by joint convention. Washburn was the third incumbent U.S. Senator to be defeated in Minnesota history following Democrat James Shields in 1859 and Republican William Windom in 1883. Mitchell was an Associate Supreme Court Justice (1881-1900).

Nelson was an attorney from Alexandria, former Wisconsin state Assemblyman (1868-1869), Douglas County Attorney (1872-1874), Minnesota state Senator (SD 39, 1875-1879), Regent of the University of Minnesota (1882-1893), former U.S. Representative (CD 05, 1883-1889), and sitting Governor (1893-1895).

Donnelly was a former Republican Lieutenant Governor (1860-1863), U.S. Representative (HD 02, 1863-1869), state Representative (HD 25, 1887- 1889; HD 24, 1897-1899), and state Senator (SD 20, 1874-1879; SD 24, 1891-1895).

Comstock was an attorney from Moorhead, former state Representative (HD 41, 1876-1878, 1879-1883; SD 44, 1883-1889), and U.S. Representative (CD 05, 1889-1891).

Mitchell was a former state Representative (HD 11, 1859-1861) and sitting Asscociate Justice of the Supreme Court (1881-1900).

McCleary was a former educator and superintendent, president of the Minnesota Educational Association, and sitting U.S. Representative (CD 02, 1893-1907).

Lind was a Swedish-born attorney and sitting Republican U.S. Representative (1887-1893). Lind was the Democratic-People's gubernatorial nominee in 1896, 1898, and 1900 serving as governor from 1899-1901. He would later get elected as a Democratic U.S. Representative (CD 05, 1903-1905).

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