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Legislative Contested Elections

An election contest is a formal challenge to the declared result of an election or to the way the election was administered. For background, see the House of Representatives Research Department report, Election Contests. Librarians add information to the records of legislators with election contests as we learn of them. (Recounts are listed separately.) This list is not complete. Please report any additions or errors to the library staff

82 Records
Election DateDistrictWho Won?BodyNotes
11/7/197814ACarlson, Douglas W. House His election was contested by his opponent, Roy Carlson over allegations of unfair campaign practices. The charges were related to Douglas Carlson's distribution of helium filled balloons with "Re-elect Rep. Doug Carlson" printed on them. The grand jury ruled that this didn't violate the law, so he retained the seat.
11/7/197858BOtis, Todd H. House His opponent, Ann O'Loughlin, contested his election due to charges of unfair campaign practices. It was dismissed by the courts due to the fact that she failed to follow proper notification procedures.
11/7/197867APavlak, Sr., Robert L. House Robert L. Pavlak was involved in a contested election after he defeated Arnold Kempe in the 1978 election. The House voted to unseat Robert L. Pavlak on May 18, 1979 due to charges of unfair campaign practices. The seat was declared vacant. Pavlak ran unsuccessfully in the special election. Frank J. Rodriguez, Sr. won the special election.
11/7/197210ADeGroat, Frank H. House Dan Kershner contested his election due to unfair campaign practices. The three county attorneys decided not to prosecute since they felt there were not reasonable grounds to convene a grand jury.
11/7/197265BMoe, Donald M. House His election was contested and there were efforts to unseat him due to allegations of unfair campaign practices.
11/7/197206AOjala, William R. House There were efforts to unseat him due to the fact that on October 30, 1972, he told reporters that he had not paid his state income taxes for three years as a protest against the Vietnam War. (Seating of House Members Challenged. Fergus Falls Daily Journal, January 3, 1973)
11/3/197059Palmer, Richard F. Senate His election was contested by Francis LaBrosse over allegations of corrupt campaign practices. Due to a deadlock/tie vote on the Senate floor, he was determined to be entitled to the seat.
11/5/196863Bischoff, Bernard J. House He was a part of a contested election with Jack Fena in the 1968 election. He was charged with campaign violations related to false claims in his ads. He was seated and took the oath of office on the first day of session. On February 7, 1969 the Minnesota House of Representatives determined that he was not legally elected. They declared the seat vacant and a special election was held. He won the special election.
11/5/196841Brandt, Edward R. House Edward R. Brandt's election was contested by Alpha Smaby for unfair campaign practices. Edward R. Brandt was reprimanded by the House but retained the seat.
11/5/196841Skeate, John P. House His election was contested while the House was investigating the Alpha Smaby and Edward R. Brandt contested election. He along with Edward R. Brandt were reprimanded but retained their seats.
11/8/196631Welter, Eugene F. Senate Eugene F. Welter was involved in a contested election with Richard J. Parish in the 1966 election. Neither of them were seated until the Minnesota Senate decided that Eugene F. Welter was entitled to the seat.
3/27/196530Wingard, John P. House His opponent, Linn Slattengren, won the 1964 general election but was found guilty of violating the Minnesota Corrupt Practices Act, so he was not sworn in. The seat was declared vacant and a special election was held. John P. Wingard won the special election but his win was contested by Linn Slattengren. The House investigated and determined that neither candidate had violated the law. John P. Wingard was sworn in on April 20, 1965.
11/8/196040Mulder, Michael H. House His election was contested by Dominic J. Perozino.
2/28/195752Renner, Sr., Robert G. House Seth R. Phillips and George E. Ericson contested the 1956 election for this seat. Neither one was seated on the first day of the 1957 Session. After an investigation by the House, the seat was declared vacant and a special election was held. Robert Renner won the special election. His official election date is uncertain due to the special election. The date listed is the date he took the oath of office.
11/5/195248Anderson, Gustav Adolph House Al F. Riedner was involved in a contested election with Gustav Adolph Anderson after the 1952 election. Gustav Adolph Anderson was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195253Dominick, Albert A. House Evert A. Skoog was involved in a contested election with Albert Dominick after the 1952 election. Albert Dominick was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195210Franz, Sam M. House Paul Lockwood was involved in a contested election with Sam M. Franz after the 1952 election. Sam M. Franz was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195253Halsted, Sr., Charles L. House Verner Anderson was involved in a contested election with Charles L. Halsted after the 1952 election. Charles L. Halsted was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195230Luther, Sally House Thomas N. Christie was involved in a contested election with Sally Luther after the 1952 election. Sally Luther was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195217Pischel, Fred A. House Fred A. Pischel was involved in a contested election after the 1952 election. He was determined to be the winner.
11/5/195229Skeate, John P. House Carl O. Wegner was involved in a contested election with John P. Skeate after the 1952 election. John P. Skeate was determined to be the winner.
11/7/195066Murray, Louis Adrian Senate Louis A. Murray was involved in a contested election with Julius Spokely in the 1950 election. Neither of them were seated until the Minnesota Senate decided that Louis A. Murray was entitled to the seat.
11/5/194632Anderson, Marvin Harold Senate Henry G. Young contested the election of Marvin H. Anderson in the 1946 election. Marvin H. Anderson was determined to be the winner of the election and entitled to the seat.
11/5/194617Dietz, William L. Senate William L. Dietz was involved in a contested election with Frank M. Wrabek in the 1946 election. Neither of them were seated until the Minnesota Senate decided that William L. Dietz was entitled to the seat.
11/3/194255Newton, Fred Senate Kenneth W. Angstman contested the election of Fred Newton in the 1942 election. Fred Newton was determined to be entitled to the seat. This election was also subject to a recount.
11/6/193415MacKenzie, Claude Hillel Senate Oscar W. Olson, a private citizen, contested the election of Claude H. MacKenzie in the 1934 election. Claude H. MacKenzie was determined to be the winner of the election and entitled to the seat.
11/4/193036Miller, Archie H. Senate George A. Turnham contested the election of Archie H. Miller in the 1930 election. Archie H. Miller was determined to be the winner of the election and entitled to the seat.
11/4/193019Rockne, Anton Julius Senate Charles L. Grover contested the election of Anton Julius Rockne in the 1930 election. Grover ran as a write-in candidate. Anton Julius Rockne was determined to be the winner of the election and entitled to the seat.
2/20/191943Sullivan, George Henry Senate In the 1918 election, W.W. Wilcox's margin of victory over George Henry Sullivan was 43 votes. A recount occurred and W.W. Wilcox was found to have won by 35 votes. Wilcox was also charged with violations of the fair campaign practices act. After much debate, on January 31, 1919 the Senators declared the seat vacant. A special election was held, which Sullivan won.
11/5/191835Lauderdale, Henry W. House Erling Swenson was originally listed as the winner of the 1918 election by 66 votes. Henry W. Lauderdale contested the election results and a recount occurred. The recount showed that Lauderdale had won by 40 votes. Swenson then contested the election related to charges that Lauderdale had violated the Corrupt Practices Act including charges of paying for votes. After examining the evidence, the House ruled that Lauderdale was entitled to the seat.
11/5/191835Swenson, Erling House Erling Swenson was originally listed as the winner of the 1918 election by 66 votes. Henry W. Lauderdale contested the election results and a recount occurred. The recount showed that Lauderdale had won by 40 votes. Swenson then contested the election related to charges that Lauderdale had violated the Corrupt Practices Act including charges of paying for votes. After examining the evidence, the House ruled that Lauderdale was entitled to the seat.
11/5/191843Wilcox, W. W. Senate His margin of victory over George Henry Sullivan was 43 votes. A recount occurred and W.W. Wilcox was found to have won by 35 votes. Wilcox was also charged with violations of the fair campaign practices act. After much debate, on January 31, 1919 the Senators declared the seat vacant. A new election was held, which Sullivan won.
11/7/191664Flikkie, John J. House He won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by Albert L. Thompson for violations related to the Corrupt Practices Act. Flikkie was accused of distributing false reports and giving out cigars. Thompson filed the charges in district court and the judge ruled in his favor but stipulated that the court had no jurisdiction in the matter. After an investigation by the Election Contests Committee, John J. Flikkie was confirmed by the House as the winner of the election.
11/7/191612Norwood, Fred F. House He won the election by two votes and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by P. H. Harrington on the claim of illegal votes. After an investigation by the Election Contests Committee, Fred F. Norwood was confirmed as the winner of the election.
11/7/191651Orr, Erwin E. House He won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by Charles S. Wilkin for violations related to the Corrupt Practices Act. Orr admitted he had given out cigars and soft drinks during his campaign but he argued it wasn't to influence votes. The Election Contests Committee, submitted a majority and a minority report. The House voted to adopt the majority report and Erwin E. Orr was confirmed as the winner of the election.
11/7/191631Reed, Frank E. House He won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by Dr. Henry Wuerzinger on the grounds that Reed was a National Guard officer which made him ineligible to serve. The Election Contests Committee recommended that the contest be dismissed since Wuerzinger failed to serve notice of the contested election to Reed. The House adopted their recommendation.
11/7/191624Teigen, Austin F. House He won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by James R. Burnip for violations related to the Corrupt Practices Act. The charges were that Teigen distributed false and defamatory statements against Burnip. After an investigation by the Elections Contest Committee, Austin F. Teigen was confirmed as the winner of the election.
11/3/189606Dunn, Howard H. Senate He won a special election on November 3, 1896 for this Minnesota Senate seat. The seat was considered vacant when Frank Arah Day was elected by the Minnesota Senate to assume the duties of Lieutenant Governor on January 25, 1895. When the Legislature reconvened on January 5, 1897 Sen. Day and Sen. Dunn both claimed the seat. Sen. Day is listed in the Journal of the Senate as holding the contested seat until a determination was made on January 23, 1897 that Sen. Dunn had been duly elected and was entitled to the seat. He took the oath of office on January 26, 1897.
11/6/189406Day, Frank Arah Senate A special election was held on November 3, 1896 for this Minnesota Senate seat which was considered vacant when Frank Arah Day was elected by the Minnesota Senate to assume the duties of the Lieutenant Governor on January 25, 1895. The seat was won by Howard H. Dunn. When the Legislature reconvened on January 5, 1897 Sen. Day and Sen. Dunn both claimed the seat. Sen. Day is listed in the Journal of the Senate as holding the seat until a determination was made on January 23, 1897 that Sen. Dunn had been duly elected and was entitled to the seat.
11/4/189023O'Brien, James S. Senate Jasper N. Searles received a certificate of election after the 1890 election and was sworn in on the first day of Session, January 6, 1891. However the seat was contested by James S. O'Brien. The Senate passed a resolution on January 29, 1891 declaring James S. O'Brien legally elected and thus entitled to the seat. James S. O'Brien is first listed in the Minnesota Journal of the Senate roll call on January 30, 1891.
11/4/189046Price, E. E. House E.E. Price's election was contested by Robert Campbell Dunn. Price was given the election certificate by the canvassing board but Dunn contested the awarding of the certificate to him because Price's initials appeared in varying forms on the various ballots. The Minnesota House of Representatives ruled that Price was entitled to the seat.
11/4/189023Searles, Jasper N. Senate Jasper N. Searles received a certificate of election after the 1890 election and was sworn in on the first day of Session, January 6, 1891. However the seat was contested by James S. O'Brien. The Senate passed a resolution on January 29, 1891 declaring James S. O'Brien legally elected and thus entitled to the seat.
11/2/187520Baker, Charles A. House Charles A. Baker won the election and was sworn in and served. His election was contested by Mathias Siebenaler. The House determined that Mathias Siebenaler was entitled to the seat.
11/2/187538Durfee, I. P. Senate I.P. Durfee contested the election of George S. Thompson. The Minnesota Senate determined that I.P. Durfee was entitled to the seat.
11/2/187520Siebenaler, Mathias House Charles A. Baker won the election and was sworn in and served. His election was contested by Mathias Siebenaler. The House determined that Mathias Siebenaler was entitled to the seat.
11/2/187538Thompson, George S. Senate I.P. Durfee contested the election of George S. Thompson. The Minnesota Senate determined that I.P. Durfee was entitled to the seat.
11/4/187301Beard, Aaron House Walter McArthur contested the election of Aaron Beard. Aaron Beard served until January 16, 1874 when the Minnesota House of Representatives determined that Walter McArthur was entitled to the seat.
11/4/187338Howe, Ole H. House Ole H. Howe contested the election of L.O. Ulverstad over charges of election fraud. The Minnesota House of Representatives determined that Ole H. Howe was entitled to the seat.
11/4/187324Hoyt, Lorenzo House Lorenzo Hoyt's election was contested by Horace J. Brainard. The Minnesota House of Representatives ruled that Lorenzo Hoyt was entitled to the seat.
11/4/187301McArthur, Walter House Walter McArthur contested the election of Aaron Beard. Aaron Beard served until January 16, 1874 when the Minnesota House of Representatives determined that Walter McArthur was entitled to the seat.
11/4/187338Ulverstad, L. O. House Ole H. Howe contested the election of L.O. Ulverstad over charges of election fraud. The Minnesota House of Representatives determined that Ole H. Howe was entitled to the seat.
11/7/187136Gillick, Lawrence House Lawrence Gillick is listed as the winner of the election on the first day of the 1872 session. His election was contested and he lost. Liberty Hall served out the rest of his term.
11/7/187136Hall, Liberty House Lawrence Gillick is listed as the winner of the election on the first day of the 1872 session. His election was contested and he lost. Liberty Hall served out the rest of his term.
11/8/187020Chamberlain, George C. House George C. Chamberlain won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by A.L. Patchen. The Minnesota House found evidence of gross election fraud and determined that A.L. Patchen was entitled to the seat.
11/8/187020Patchen, A. L. House George C. Chamberlain won the election and was sworn in on the first day of session. His election was contested by A.L. Patchen. The Minnesota House found evidence of gross election fraud and determined that A.L. Patchen was entitled to the seat.
11/8/187020Thompson, Clark W. Senate George W. Whallon was sworn in and served. His election was contested by Clark W. Thompson. The Minnesota Senate determined that Clark W. Thompson was entitled to the seat.
11/8/187020Whallon, George W. Senate George W. Whallon was sworn in and served. His election was contested by Clark W. Thompson. The Minnesota Senate determined that Clark W. Thompson was entitled to the seat.
11/5/186713Buell, David L. Senate David L. Buell won the 1867 election but George F. Potter contested his win. George F. Potter was determined to be entitled to the seat.
11/5/186713Potter, George F. Senate David L. Buell won the 1867 election but George F. Potter contested his win. George F. Potter was determined to be entitled to the seat.
11/6/186603Hoepner, Henry House Henry Hoepner was involved in a contested election with Nathan Richardson. Hoepner was sworn in on the first day of session and served until the House determined that Nathan Richardson was entitled to the seat.
11/6/186603Richardson, Nathan House Henry Hoepner was involved in a contested election with Nathan Richardson. Hoepner was sworn in on the first day of session and served until the House determined that Nathan Richardson was entitled to the seat.
10/11/185903Barton, Ara House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/11/185903Bixler, Moses House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/11/185903Caskey, Henry House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/11/185903Hayes, Archibald M. House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/11/185926Nettleton, William House His election was contested by Robert E. Jefferson. The House determined that William Nettleton was entitled to the seat.
10/11/185903Newell, Stephen House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/11/185903Waldhier, Michael House Ara Barton, Stephen Newell, and Michael Waldhier from District 3 were sworn in on the first day of session. Their elections were contested by Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey over charges of illegal votes. The House decided that Archibald M. Hayes, Moses Bixler, and Henry Caskey were the rightful holders of the seats.
10/12/185809Bryant, Orlando? B. Senate Ignatius F. O'Ferrall and Orlando B. Bryant's election to Senate District 9 was contested by Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley. O'Ferrall and Bryant had certificates of election that were the result of a Minnesota Supreme Court order. They were sworn in when session began. On January 6, 1860 the Senate determined that the court didn't have the authority to determine the membership of the Senate and they decided that Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley were entitled to the seats.
10/12/185809Holley, Henry W. Senate Ignatius F. O'Ferrall and Orlando B. Bryant's election to Senate District 9 was contested by Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley. O'Ferrall and Bryant had certificates of election that were the result of a Minnesota Supreme Court order. They were sworn in when session began. On January 6, 1860 the Senate determined that the court didn't have the authority to determine the membership of the Senate and they decided that Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley were entitled to the seats.
10/12/185809O'Ferrall, Ignatius F. Senate Ignatius F. O'Ferrall and Orlando B. Bryant's election to Senate District 9 was contested by Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley. O'Ferrall and Bryant had certificates of election that were the result of a Minnesota Supreme Court order. They were sworn in when session began. On January 6, 1860 the Senate determined that the court didn't have the authority to determine the membership of the Senate and they decided that Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley were entitled to the seats.
10/12/185809Wells, Reuben Senate Ignatius F. O'Ferrall and Orlando B. Bryant's election to Senate District 9 was contested by Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley. O'Ferrall and Bryant had certificates of election that were the result of a Minnesota Supreme Court order. They were sworn in when session began. On January 6, 1860 the Senate determined that the court didn't have the authority to determine the membership of the Senate and they decided that Reuben Wells and Henry W. Holley were entitled to the seats.
10/13/185714Dunham, William N. House William Dunham was sworn in on December 3, 1857 and served but George B. Kingsley contested the seat over issues related to the validity of votes cast in one precinct. The Committee on the Contested Seat investigated the claim. On January 12, 1858 the House voted and George B. Kingsley was determined to be entitled to the seat.
10/13/185714Kingsley, George B. House William Dunham was sworn in on December 3, 1857 and served but George B. Kingsley contested the seat over issues related to the validity of votes cast in one precinct. The Committee on the Contested Seat investigated the claim. On January 12, 1858 the House voted and George B. Kingsley was determined to be entitled to the seat.
10/9/185508Covel, William B. Territorial House The Session began on January 2, 1856. Alanson B. Vaughn was sworn in on January 4, 1856. Then on January 7, 1856 William B. Covel (Coville) presented his certificate of election and was sworn in. It was determined that William B. Covel (Coville) was the legitimate winner of the election.
10/9/185501Taylor, Nathan C. D. Territorial House William Wallace Kingsbury contested the election of Nathan C.D. Taylor on charges related to illegal voters and the validity of election precincts. Nathan C.D. Taylor was determined to be entitled to the seat.
10/9/185508Vaughn, Alanson B. Territorial House The Session began on January 2, 1856. Alanson B. Vaughn was sworn in on January 4, 1856. Then on January 7, 1856 William B. Covel (Coville) presented his certificate of election and was sworn in. It was determined that William B. Covel (Coville) was the legitimate winner of the election.
10/14/185105Beatty, James Territorial House William W. Warren contested James Beatty's election on grounds that some of the votes cast for Beatty were illegal. The Territorial House of Representatives determined that James Beatty should retain the seat.
10/14/185104Richards, Fordyce S. Territorial House James Wells contested the election of Fordyce S. Richards on issues related to the validity of election precincts. The members of the Territorial House of Representatives determined that Fordyce S. Richards was entitled to the seat.
9/2/185007Faribault, Alexander Territorial House He was part of a contested election over issues related to eligible voters. The House determined he was entitled to the seat. "Unsuccessful objections were made to the swearing in of the representatives from the Seventh District, Alexander Faribault and Benjamin H. Randall, on the ground that they were not legally elected." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, Vol. 2)
9/2/185007Randall, Benjamin H. Territorial House He was part of a contested election over issues related to eligible voters. The House determined he was entitled to the seat. "Unsuccessful objections were made to the swearing in of the representatives from the Seventh District, Alexander Faribault and Benjamin H. Randall, on the ground that they were not legally elected." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, Vol. 2)
8/1/184901Wells, James Territorial House His 1849 election was contested by Harley D. White. Wells won the election with a 33 to 29 vote total. However, White claimed six of Wells' votes were cast by people who weren't legal residents of the Territory. The House members ended up with a tie vote on the resolution to deny Wells the seat; so he retained it.

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