1920 Election Cycle

Minnesota’s presidential preference primary law was repealed in 1917, but the state Republican Party decided to hold a preference vote at its caucuses on March 15th which was won by General Leonard Wood with progressive California U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson placing second among six candidates.

Two months after Minnesota's statewide primary in June, the 19th Amendment was ratified granting women the right to vote.

Warren Harding won Minnesota by 51.16 points which was his fourth largest victory in the nation and third largest in the Midwest behind North Dakota (59.60 points) and Wisconsin (54.92 points).

In the June primary, Auditor J.A.O. Preus won a competitive GOP race for Governor, edging former state legislator Henrik Shipstead by 2.6 points (Shipstead would run as an independent in the general election). Attorney General Clifford Hilton and Treasurer Henry Rines would also eke out single-digit renomination victories.

In November, Republicans delivered another clean sweep in races for Governor (J.A.O. Preus), Lieutenant Governor (Louis Collins), Secretary of State (Mike Holm, in the first of his record 16 terms), Attorney General (Clifford Hilton), Treasurer (Henry Rines), and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (Ole P.B. Jacobson) – all by convincing double-digit margins.

Another Republican U.S. Representative lost their party’s primary this cycle: 10-term Congressman Andrew J. Volstead to Ole Kvale. However, the state Supreme Court ruled Kvale had violated the corrupt practices act and the GOP nomination was eventually awarded to Volstead. One incumbent also lost in the general election – freshman Union Laborite-turned-Democrat William Carss of the 8th CD – who was unseated in a 1.6-point loss to Republican Oscar Larson. Republicans thus held all 10 U.S. House seats for the first time and swept the congressional races for the first time since 1904.

Appointed Associate Justice Homer Dibell was elected to the Supreme Court.


Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/02/1920 State House, District 64 General Joseph M. Sluke (Nonpartisan) won with 3,379 votes (54.95%) and a winning margin of +9.90
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Joseph M. Sluke Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 3,379 54.95
Richard P.T. Idtse Man Nonpartisan 2,770 45.05
11/02/1920 State House, District 63 General Edward R. (E.R.) Hinds (Nonpartisan) won with 1,622 votes (63.93%) and a winning margin of +27.87
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Edward R. (E.R.) Hinds Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 1,622 63.93
G. Howard Benham Man Nonpartisan 915 36.07
11/02/1920 State House, District 63 General Gustav (G.J.) Norby (Nonpartisan) won with 3,448 votes (51.13%) and a winning margin of +2.25
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Gustav (G.J.) Norby Man Nonpartisan 3,448 51.13
Erick P. (E.P.) Skaiem Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 3,296 48.87
11/02/1920 State House, District 62 General Francis J. (F.J.) McPartlin (Nonpartisan) won with 2,159 votes (67.24%) and a winning margin of +34.48
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Francis J. (F.J.) McPartlin Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 2,159 67.24
C.W.C. Bauer Man Nonpartisan 1,052 32.76
11/02/1920 State House, District 65 General Walter E. Day (Nonpartisan) won with 4,260 votes (30.92%) and a winning margin of +9.06
Anders (A.J.) Hemstad (Nonpartisan) won with 3,788 votes (27.49%) and a winning margin of +5.63
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Walter E. Day Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 4,260 30.92
Anders (A.J.) Hemstad Man Nonpartisan 3,788 27.49
J. Jensen Man Nonpartisan 3,012 21.86
Martin O. Sortedahl Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 2,719 19.73