1887 Chicago mayoral election

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1887 Chicago mayoral election
← 1885 April 5, 1887[1] 1889 →
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Nominee John A. Roche Robert S. Nelson
Party Republican Socialist Labor
Popular vote 51,249 23,490
Percentage 68.23% 31.27%

Mayor before election

Carter Harrison Sr.

Elected Mayor

John A. Roche

The Chicago mayoral election of 1887 saw Republican John A. Roche win by a landslide, receiving more than a two-thirds majority of the vote, defeating Socialist Robert S. Nelson by more than 36 points (a margin of victory which was itself greater than Nelson's vote share).

Lack of Democratic nominee[edit]

The Democratic Party failed to field a candidate.

Incumbent Democrat Carter Harrison Sr. had opted to retire as mayor.[2][3] Harrison had lost the backing of his party. This came amid declining public support for Harrison. Among other reasons, Harrison had lost the Party’s backing were his handling of the Haymarket Riot and his failure to receive the endorsement of the United Labor Party.[4]

The Democratic Party nominated DeWitt Clinton Cregier, who refused their nomination.[3] After this, and despite his declared intent to retire, they attempted to nominate Harrison, who also refused their nomination.[3]


1887 Chicago mayoral election[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John A. Roche 51,249 68.23
Socialist Labor Robert S. Nelson 23,490 31.27
Prohibition Joseph L. Whitlock 372 0.50
Turnout 75,111


  1. ^ Currey, Josiah Seymour (1912). "Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, a Century of Marvelous Growth".
  2. ^ Kantowicz, Edward. “The Emergence of the Polish-Democratic Vote in Chicago.” Polish American Studies, vol. 29, no. 1/2, 1972, pp. 67–80. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20147849.
  3. ^ a b c History of Chicago, Illinois by John Moses page 233 (293 in Google's digitalized form)
  4. ^ http://www.wiu.edu/cas/history/wihr/pdfs/Buller-WIHRvol2.pdf
  5. ^ "RaceID=486010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  6. ^ The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book. Chicago: Chicago Daily News. 1911. p. 538.