1958 Election Cycle

In the midst of a national Democratic wave, the DFL was able to pick up two of four seats they did not already hold on the ballot in partisan statewide races. DFL U.S. Representative Eugene McCarthy unseated Republican U.S. Senator Edward Thye to give Democrats control of both seats for the first time since 1859. Ron Anderson also flipped the Railroad and Warehouse Commission seat held by Wally Lund.

All four DFL incumbents cruised to double-digit victories: Governor Orville Freeman, Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag, Secretary of State Joseph Donovan, and Attorney General Miles Lord. [Lord resigned in May 1960 and Freeman appointed Minneapolis attorney Walter Mondale to fill the vacancy]. Auditor Stafford King and Treasurer Val Bjornson narrowly held their seats for the Republican Party.

Republican August Andresen’s death in January 1958 prompted just the fourth special U.S. House election in state history. Al Quie held the 1st CD seat with a 602-vote win for the GOP in February. That November, Republicans flipped one seat to hold a 5-4 advantage in the state delegation after Odin Langen defeated 9th CD Congresswoman Coya Knutson.

Associate Justice Frank Gallagher was elected to his third term on the Supreme Court.

Elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/04/1958 State Senate, District 41 General Leslie E. Westin (Nonpartisan) won with 15,832 votes (60.62%) and a winning margin of +21.25
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Leslie E. Westin Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 15,832 60.62
George L. Siegel Man Nonpartisan 10,283 39.38
11/04/1958 State Senate, District 40 General Harold J. O'Loughlin (Nonpartisan) won with 5,636 votes (55.14%) and a winning margin of +10.28
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Harold J. O'Loughlin Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 5,636 55.14
Michael W. (Mike) McLaughlin Man Nonpartisan 4,585 44.86
11/04/1958 State Senate, District 39 General Karl F. Grittner (Nonpartisan) won with 7,345 votes (65.67%) and a winning margin of +31.35
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Karl F. Grittner Man Nonpartisan 7,345 65.67
Patrick H. Doherty Man Nonpartisan 3,839 34.33
11/04/1958 State Senate, District 38 General Edward G. Novak (Nonpartisan) won with 5,940 votes (59.30%) and a winning margin of +18.60
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Edward G. Novak Man Nonpartisan 5,940 59.30
James A. Weyandt Man Nonpartisan 4,077 40.70
11/04/1958 U.S. Senate General Eugene J. McCarthy (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) won with 608,847 votes (52.95%) and a winning margin of +6.37
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Eugene J. McCarthy Man Democratic-Farmer-Labor 608,847 52.95
Edward J. Thye Incumbent Man Republican 535,629 46.58
William M. Curran Man Socialist Workers 5,407 0.47

Senator Thye became the seventh incumbent U.S. Senator to lose reelection joining Democrat James Shields in 1859, Democrat Charles Towne in 1901, Republican Moses Clapp in 1916, Republican Frank Kellogg in 1922, Republican Henrik Shipstead in 1946, and Republican Joseph Ball in 1948.

McCarthy was a resident of St. Paul, former high school teacher and college professor, and sitting U.S. Representative (CD 04, 1949-1959).

Curran was a welder from Minneapolis. Curran was nominated by petition.

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