South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1916

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The 1916 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 1916, to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Governor Richard Irvine Manning III faced a strong challenge from former governor Coleman Livingston Blease in the Democratic primary, but Manning managed to win a second two-year term as governor.

Democratic primary[edit]

Governor Richard Irvine Manning III ran for a second term, but faced a challenge in the state Democratic primary from former governor Coleman Livingston Blease and Robert Archer Cooper. The progressive reforms initiated by Governor Manning alarmed many of the textile owners who threw their support to Cooper. Blease revived his political coalition of mill workers and sharecroppers and he made political capital out of Manning's use of troops to enforce a court eviction order against strikers at a mill in Anderson. Senator Ben Tillman openly supported the re-election of Governor Manning.

The results of the primary on August 29 had Blease in first place, but just short of a majority necessary to avoid a runoff election. With the elimination of Cooper, the mill executives threw their support to Manning. Indeed, most South Carolinians not already supporting Blease preferred Manning to Blease. Many viewed the election as one of government and misgovernment. Manning eked out a victory in the runoff on September 12 and was essentially elected to a second two-year term because there was nominal opposition in the general election.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Coleman Livingston Blease 64,384 46.7
Richard Irvine Manning III 41,536 30.2
Robert Archer Cooper 31,305 22.7
John M. DesChamps 307 0.2
John T. Duncan 269 0.2
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Richard Irvine Manning III 71,463 51.7 +21.5
Coleman Livingston Blease 66,791 48.3 +1.6


General election[edit]

The general election was held on November 7, 1916, and Richard Irvine Manning III was re-elected governor of South Carolina without opposition. Turnout increased over the previous gubernatorial election because there was also a presidential election on the ballot.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1916
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Richard Irvine Manning III 60,405 97.9 -1.9
Independent Coleman Livingston Blease 1,089 1.8 +1.8
Socialist J.C. Gibbes 163 0.3 +0.1
No party Write-Ins 38 0.0 0.0
Majority 59,316 96.1 -3.5
Turnout 61,695
  Democratic hold

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lander, Jr., Ernest McPherson (1970). A History of South Carolina, 1865-1960. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0-87249-169-2. 
  • "Results of First Primary Declared". The News and Courier. 6 September 1916. p. 2. 
  • "Governor Manning Declared Nominee". The News and Courier. 20 September 1916. p. 2. 
  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. pp. 31–33. 
  • "Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina. Part II." Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume II. Columbia, SC: 1917, pp. 5–6.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
1914
South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1918