This was the first fall election in which the Whig Party was involved. On the Democratic side, the nominee was the incumbent Gov. Marcy.
On the Whig side, the nomination was far less obvious; those considered included Amos P. Granger, Daniel C. Verplanck, and others. Eventually William H. Seward, although very young, emerged as the consensus choice. During the campaign itself, the Democratic press charged that Seward was too young to serve; the Whig press countered by giving examples of famous people, including DeWitt Clinton, who had served at young ages.