Ellison D. Smith, an official in the Cotton Association and often called "Cotton Ed", entered the Democratic primary but found himself in early trouble when he promised that cotton would rise to eighteen cents and it did not occur. However, his rhetorical skills allowed him to take command of the stump and attract voters to his campaign. Former GovernorJohn Gary Evans was making his fourth straight attempt for the Senate seat and received the private support of Senator Ben Tillman. The tide of Tillmanism had receded in the state and the public endorsement by Tillman would doom a candidate's prospects. Smith and Evans emerged as the top two candidates were to face each other in a runoff election on September 8. Evans once again failed to carry the day and Smith scored a resounding victory.