John J. Dunnigan

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John J. Dunnigan (September 6, 1883 New York City - December 1965) was an American architect, builder and politician from New York. He was President pro tempore of the New York State Senate from 1933 to 1938.

Life[edit]

He was a Democratic member of the New York State Senate from 1915 to 1920, sitting in the 138th, 139th, 140th, 141st, 142nd and 143rd New York State Legislatures.

In 1921, he contested the election of Republican George H. Taylor to the State Senate, and was seated on February 15 in the 144th New York State Legislature. He remained in the State Senate until 1944, sitting in the 145th, 146th, 147th, 148th, 149th, 150th, 151st, 152nd, 153rd, 154th, 155th, 156th, 157th, 158th, 159th, 160th, 161st, 162nd, 163rd and 164th New York State Legislatures; and was Minority Leader from 1931 to 1932, President pro tempore from 1933 to 1938, and again Minority Leader from 1939 to 1944. He was a delegate to the New York Convention to ratify the 21st Amendment in 1933.

He co-authored the Parimutuel betting law which legalized betting on horses at the racetracks, and banished the bookmakers from the tracks. It also gave the State a 5% share in the bets. He inaugurated the novelty by buying the first ticket at Jamaica Racetrack in April 1940.

His son James J. Dunnigan (1912–1983) was President of the Buffalo Raceway in Hamburg, NY from its establishment in 1942 until the 1960s.

Sources[edit]

  • [1] Obit in NYT on December 12, 1965 (subscription required)
  • [2] The inauguration of the new parimutuel betting, in TIME Magazine on April 29, 1940
New York State Senate
Preceded by
John Davidson
New York State Senate
21st District

1915–1918
Succeeded by
Henry G. Schackno
Preceded by
George Cromwell
New York State Senate
23rd District

1919–1920
Succeeded by
George H. Taylor
Preceded by
George H. Taylor
New York State Senate
23rd District

1921–1944
Succeeded by
Alexander A. Falk
Political offices
Preceded by
Bernard Downing
Minority Leader in the New York State Senate
1931–1932
Succeeded by
George R. Fearon
Preceded by
George R. Fearon
President pro tempore of the New York State Senate
1933-1938
Succeeded by
Perley A. Pitcher
Preceded by
Perley A. Pitcher
Minority Leader in the New York State Senate
1939–1944
Succeeded by
Elmer F. Quinn