1962 Election Cycle
The 1962 cycle was the first cycle in which select constitutional offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General) moved from two-year to four-year terms (elections for Auditor were already on four-year cycles).
The gubernatorial election was the closest in state history, with Governor Andersen initially certified the winner by 142 votes on November 29th. A prolonged election contest resulted in a three-judge Ramsey County district court determining on March 21, 1963 that Rolvaag had won by 91 votes. [Andersen served a few months into this abbreviated second term while legal proceedings unfolded].
DFL State Senator Sandy Keith won Rolvaag’s old position as Lieutenant Governor and his 0.38-point win over state Representative C. Donald Peterson was also the most narrowly decided election for the office in Minnesota history. DFL incumbents were reelected for Secretary of State (Joseph Donovan), Attorney General (Walter Mondale), and Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner (Paul Rasmussen). Republican Auditor Stafford King was elected to a record ninth term and fellow party member Val Bjornson won a sixth nonconsecutive term for Treasurer.
After reapportionment, Minnesota lost a seat in the U.S. House for the first time in 30 years, dropping to eight seats. After losing a notable swath of his constituency after redistricting, 12-term Republican H. Carl Andersen lost his party’s nomination to Robert Odegard in the 6th CD – the first congressman to lose a primary since Republican Oscar Youngdahl in the 5th CD in 1942. In November, 10-term Republican Walter Judd was unseated by Don Fraser in the 5th CD as the two parties split the eight seats in the delegation.
Associate Supreme Court Justices William Murphy and James Otis were each elected to another term.