1896 Election Cycle

In 1896, Republicans nominees in Minnesota thrived at the top and bottom of the ticket, but barely continued their winning ways in one prominent race in the middle. William McKinley carried Minnesota by 15.7 points – his second best showing in the 12-state Midwest region behind only Wisconsin (22.9 points).

However, Governor David Clough, who succeeded Knute Nelson mid-term, held off a strong campaign by Democratic nominee John Lind – a former three-term Republican U.S. Representative – and escaped with a one-point victory. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Albert Berg, Attorney General Henry Childs and Treasurer August Koerner all won by double-digits for the GOP as did John Gibbs, the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor. The 1896 cycle would be the last Republican sweep of Constitutional offices in Minnesota during the 19th Century.

Republicans won all seven congressional districts for the second consecutive cycle with incumbent Charles Towne failing to hold his seat as the nominee of the Democrats and People’s Party.

Republicans maintained their overwhelming majority in the state Senate (44 Republicans, five Populists, three Democrats, two Silver Republicans) and state House (90 Republicans, 13 Populists, 11 Democrats).

Elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/03/1896 State Senate, District 53 Special George A. Whitney (Republican) won with 4,074 votes (56.77%) and a winning margin of +28.64
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
George A. Whitney Man Republican 4,074 56.77
Thomas R. Foley Man Democrat 2,019 28.14
Joseph (J.) Askew Man People's 1,083 15.09

Special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican state Senator William Allen (SD 53, 1891-1896).

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11/03/1896 State Senate, District 06 Special Howard H. (H.H.) Dunn (Republican) won with 3,380 votes (100.00%) and a winning margin of +100.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Howard H. (H.H.) Dunn Man Republican 3,380 100.00

Special election conducted after Republican Senator Frank Day was elected Lieutenant Governor by the state Senate on January 25, 1895. Day ran for the 2nd Congressional District seat in the general election causing Dunn to get his name on the ballot on the grounds that Day could not hold his seat whilst running for congress. Day lost his U.S. House bid to Republican U.S. Representative James McCleary. Both Day and senator-elect Dunn claimed the SD 06 seat, but Dunn won the election contest and was sworn in on January 26, 1897.

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11/03/1896 State House, District 54 General Patrick R. (P.R.) Vail (Republican) won with 9,816 votes (19.46%) and a winning margin of +4.52
George R. Laybourn (Republican) won with 9,413 votes (18.66%) and a winning margin of +3.72
Philip C. Schmidt (Republican) won with 9,182 votes (18.20%) and a winning margin of +3.26
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Patrick R. (P.R.) Vail Man Republican 9,816 19.46
George R. Laybourn Man Republican 9,413 18.66
Philip C. Schmidt Man Republican 9,182 18.20
M.F. Marion Man Democrat-People's 7,535 14.94
George C. Findley Man Democrat-People's 7,349 14.57
Erick G. (E.G.) Wallinder Man Democrat-People's 7,156 14.18

Marion was a grocer from Tower and sitting Tower City Recorder. He identified as a Democrat.

Findley identified as a Populist.

Wallinder indentified as a Populist.

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11/03/1896 State House, District 53 General Daniel M. (D.M.) Gunn (Republican) won with 4,188 votes (58.42%) and a winning margin of +16.84
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Daniel M. (D.M.) Gunn Incumbent Man Republican 4,188 58.42
D.W. Doran Man Democrat-People's 2,981 41.58

Doran was a resident of Grand Rapids and owner of the Gladstone Hotel that city. He identified as a Democrat.

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11/03/1896 State House, District 37 General Jacob Truwe (Republican) won with 1,989 votes (59.00%) and a winning margin of +18.01
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Jacob Truwe Man Republican 1,989 59.00
John Koehnen Man Democrat-People's 1,382 41.00

Truwe was a farmer from Carver and former state Representative (HD 33, 1878-1879).

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