1954 Election Cycle

The DFL had its best cycle to date led by Minneapolis attorney and former party chair Orville Freeman unseating Governor C. Elmer Anderson, marking the first time a Democrat held the office since Winfield Hammond died in office in December 1915. DFL also flipped five other major offices: former party chair Karl Rolvaag won the open seat for Lieutenant Governor, Joseph Donovan unseated Secretary of State Virginia Holm, Miles Lord won the open seat for Attorney General, Arthur Hansen won the open seat for Treasurer, and milkman Frank Larkin defeated Clerk of the Supreme Court Grace Kaercher Davis. [Larkin's shocking primary and general election wins spurred the legislature to put forth a constitutional amendment making this office appointed. The amendment was passed on the November 6, 1956 ballot.] Hjalmar Petersen won the DFL nomination from Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner Clifford Peterson en route to a general election victory. The lone Republican victor was Auditor Stafford King who narrowly won reelection to a seventh term.

Hubert Humphrey defeated Republican Auditor Val Bjornson by double digits to win a second term in the U.S. Senate. The DFL won five of nine U.S. House elections with Coya Knutson unseating six-term Republican Harold Hagen in the 9th CD. Knutson was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota history.

Appointed Chief Justice Roger Dell and appointed Associate Justice Martin Nelson were each elected back to the Supreme Court and Associate Justices Oscar Knutson and Frank Gallagher were each reelected to a third term.

Elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/02/1954 State House, District 67 General Richard W. Fitzsimons (Nonpartisan) won with 4,522 votes (100.00%) and a winning margin of +100.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Richard W. Fitzsimons Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 4,522 100.00
11/02/1954 State House, District 67 General Odin E.S. Langen (Nonpartisan) won with 3,045 votes (100.00%) and a winning margin of +100.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Odin E.S. Langen Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 3,045 100.00
11/02/1954 State House, District 66 General Leland A. Affeldt (Nonpartisan) won with 6,357 votes (30.12%) and a winning margin of +6.37
Reuben H. Tweten (Nonpartisan) won with 5,073 votes (24.04%) and a winning margin of +0.28
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Leland A. Affeldt Man Nonpartisan 6,357 30.12
Reuben H. Tweten Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 5,073 24.04
Philip Hamre Man Nonpartisan 5,013 23.75
T. Jacobson Vikse Man Nonpartisan 4,660 22.08
11/02/1954 State House, District 65 General Walter E. Day (Nonpartisan) won with 7,053 votes (40.34%) and a winning margin of +20.44
Ben M. (B.M.) Wichterman (Nonpartisan) won with 6,684 votes (38.22%) and a winning margin of +18.33
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Walter E. Day Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 7,053 40.34
Ben M. (B.M.) Wichterman Man Nonpartisan 6,684 38.22
Adolph W. Olson Man Nonpartisan 3,478 19.89
Mildred Westacott Woman Write-In 271 1.55
11/02/1954 State House, District 67 General Everett Battles (Nonpartisan) won with 2,823 votes (56.44%) and a winning margin of +12.87
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Everett Battles Man Nonpartisan 2,823 56.44
Helmer Larson Man Nonpartisan 2,179 43.56