California gubernatorial election, 1974

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California gubernatorial election, 1974
California
1970 ←
November 5, 1974
→ 1978

  Jerry Brown 1978 cropped.jpg
Nominee Jerry Brown Houston I. Flournoy
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,131,648 2,952,954
Percentage 50.11 47.25

CA1974Gov.svg

Election results by county

Governor before election

Ronald Reagan
Republican

Elected Governor

Jerry Brown
Democratic

The 1974 California gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 1974. The primary elections occurred on June 4, 1974. Incumbent Governor and former actor Ronald Reagan was retiring after two terms. Democratic Secretary of State Jerry Brown, son of former Governor Pat Brown, defeated Republican Controller Houston I. Flournoy in the general election.

Election background[edit]

For the first time since 1930, the incumbent governor of California (in this case, Ronald Reagan) was not running for reelection in either the primary or general election. This led to a pair of hotly contested primary elections. On the Republican side, 8 year Lieutenant Governor Edwin Reinecke ran against State Controller Houston I. Flournoy. The moderate Flournoy won a surprisingly easy victory over the more conservative Reinecke. On the Democratic side, there were numerous contenders for the nomination, including Secretary of State (and son of former Governor Pat Brown) Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker Bob Moretti, and the mayor of San Francisco, Joseph Alioto. Brown ultimately won the primary, easily outdistancing his nearest rival Alioto.

Brown had the statewide name recognition, benefited from the fact Democrats now outnumbered Republicans in CA, and maintained a lead in most of the early polls. Flournoy began to gain in the polls as the election approached, but Brown won, although by a much smaller margin than predicted. Coincidentally, when Brown ran for Secretary of State four years earlier, he defeated a man named James Flournoy - no relation to Houston - in a very close election.

Primary results[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Candidate # of votes[1]  % of votes
Jerry Brown 1,085,752 37.8
Joseph Alioto 544,007 18.9
Bob Moretti 478,469 16.6
William M. Roth 290,093 10.3
Jerome R. Waldie 227,489 7.9
Baxter Ward 79,745 2.8
Herbert Hafif 77,505 2.7
Others 89,419 3.1

Republican[edit]

Candidate # of votes[2]  % of votes
Houston I. Flournoy 1,164,015 63.0
Ed Reinecke 556,259 30.1
James Ware 36,784 2.0
Glenn Mitchel 31,518 1.7
J. F. Stay 29,297 1.6
William Nelson 22,597 1.2
Others 8,355 0.5

Peace and Freedom Party[edit]

Candidate # of votes[3]  % of votes
Elizabeth Keathley 2,111 28.1
Lester Higby 1,855 24.7
C. T. Weber 1,822 24.2
Trudy Saposhnek 1,417 18.8
Scattering 319 4.2

General election results[edit]

1974 gubernatorial election, California[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jerry Brown 3,131,648 50.11%
Republican Houston I. Flournoy 2,952,954 47.25%
American Independent Edmon V. Kaiser 83,869 1.34%
Peace and Freedom Elizabeth Keathley 75,004 1.20%
Totals 6,249,370 100.00%
Voter turnout 64.1 [5]%
Democratic gain from Republican

Results by county[edit]

County Brown Votes Flournoy Votes Others Votes
San Francisco 61.81% 136,896 35.56% 78,759 2.63% 5,815
Alameda 60.15% 200,165 37.16% 123,656 2.68% 8,929
Humboldt 58.66% 22,805 38.48% 14,958 2.86% 1,112
Lassen 57.13% 3,111 39.76% 2,165 3.10% 169
Plumas 55.77% 3,031 41.93% 2,279 2.30% 125
Shasta 55.51% 15,764 41.25% 11,716 3.24% 921
Solano 54.43% 24,955 42.58% 19,524 2.99% 1,372
Yolo 54.00% 18,249 43.60% 14,734 2.39% 809
Siskiyou 53.93% 6,515 43.28% 5,229 2.79% 337
Sierra 52.99% 629 43.22% 513 3.79% 45
Los Angeles 52.84% 1,059,533 44.82% 898,808 2.34% 46,824
Fresno 52.41% 61,596 45.36% 53,308 2.22% 2,614
Kings 52.11% 7,444 45.78% 6,540 2.11% 301
Merced 51.89% 12,779 46.05% 11,339 2.06% 507
Sacramento 51.62% 117,711 45.86% 104,595 2.52% 5,746
Del Norte 51.60% 2,149 46.12% 1,921 2.28% 95
Trinity 51.24% 1,762 44.17% 1,519 4.59% 158
Madera 51.17% 5,584 47.08% 5,137 1.75% 191
Yuba 51.04% 5,237 46.32% 4,752 2.64% 271
Santa Clara 50.63% 166,760 46.69% 153,761 2.68% 8,829
Placer 50.50% 15,744 46.54% 14,510 2.96% 924
Mendocino 50.31% 9,158 46.00% 8,373 3.69% 672
San Bernardino 49.85% 87,133 47.27% 82,611 2.88% 5,038
Tehama 49.73% 5,618 47.56% 5,373 2.71% 306
San Mateo 49.62% 91,808 47.69% 88,235 2.69% 4,983
Imperial 49.04% 9,033 48.92% 9,011 2.03% 374
Santa Cruz 48.67% 28,600 47.23% 27,750 4.10% 2,409
Sonoma 48.48% 40,756 47.98% 40,339 3.54% 2,975
Contra Costa 48.31% 97,038 49.52% 99,470 2.16% 4,347
Kern 48.29% 44,828 49.31% 45,775 2.41% 2,237
Stanislaus 47.97% 27,931 50.13% 29,186 1.89% 1,103
Riverside 47.93% 70,515 49.69% 73,102 2.37% 3,489
San Luis Obispo 47.82% 19,429 49.96% 20,300 2.22% 904
Napa 47.44% 15,200 50.09% 16,048 2.47% 791
Ventura 47.20% 56,189 50.50% 60,122 2.30% 2,738
Amador 46.48% 3,198 50.63% 3,483 2.89% 199
El Dorado 46.09% 8,076 50.92% 8,922 3.00% 525
Monterey 46.09% 28,832 51.50% 32,218 2.42% 1,512
Santa Barbara 45.99% 42,221 51.48% 47,263 2.53% 2,324
Marin 45.84% 36,384 51.18% 40,619 2.97% 2,361
Lake 45.71% 4,733 51.97% 5,381 2.32% 240
San Joaquin 45.69% 38,429 52.01% 43,744 2.29% 1,927
Mariposa 45.28% 1,658 51.69% 1,893 3.03% 111
San Benito 45.05% 2,722 52.95% 3,199 2.00% 121
Tulare 44.93% 20,589 52.60% 24,103 2.47% 1,132
Alpine 44.90% 185 51.46% 212 3.64% 15
Modoc 44.16% 1,395 53.97% 1,705 1.87% 59
San Diego 42.82% 196,930 54.24% 249,444 2.94% 13,500
Colusa 42.16% 1,884 56.01% 2,503 1.83% 82
Inyo 41.54% 2,417 55.65% 3,238 2.82% 164
Butte 41.47% 17,007 54.86% 22,499 3.66% 1,502
Calaveras 41.25% 2,702 56.63% 3,709 2.12% 139
Nevada 41.00% 5,225 55.72% 7,101 3.28% 418
Glenn 40.86% 2,645 56.77% 3,675 2.38% 154
Orange 40.60% 212,638 56.87% 297,870 2.54% 13,288
Tuolumne 40.16% 4,165 57.39% 5,952 2.46% 255
Mono 39.45% 817 56.06% 1,161 4.49% 93
Sutter 39.32% 5,141 58.45% 7,642 2.23% 292

References[edit]