North Dakota gubernatorial recall election

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North Dakota gubernatorial recall election

October 28, 1921
  RagnvaldANestos.jpg Lynn Frazier.jpg
Nominee Ragnvald A. Nestos Lynn Frazier
Party Republican/IVA Republican/NPL
Popular vote 111,425 107,332
Percentage 50.94% 49.06%

Recall by county.svg
Results by county[1]



Governor before election

Lynn Frazier

Elected Governor

Ragnvald A. Nestos

The North Dakota recall election was a recall election of North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921. Frazier was the first American governor ever successfully recalled from office; there would not be another successful recall of a governor until California Governor Gray Davis was recalled in 2003. In 2012, Scott Walker of Wisconsin was the third US Governor to face a recall, and the first to survive a recall vote.


The recall stemmed from the conflict between the allegedly socialist-leaning Nonpartisan League, of which Governor Frazier was a member, and the Independent Voters Association, a conservative and pro-capitalist faction. Frazier and his party supported state ownership of industries, while the IVA opposed it. A dispute broke out specifically over government ownership of the Bank of North Dakota and State Mill and Elevator.[2]

By September, the campaigners had been able to gather 73,000 names on petitions asking for the recall of Frazier, Attorney General William Lemke, and Commissioner of Agriculture John Hagan. These men made up the Industrial Commission, which acts as a board of directors for the state-owned entities.[2] The date of the recall was set for October 28, 1921.[2]


North Dakota gubernatorial election, 1921[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican/IVA Ragnvald A. Nestos 111,425 50.9
Republican/NPL Lynn Frazier (incumbent) 107,332 49.1
Margin of victory 4,093 1.8
Total votes 218,757 100
Republican/IVA gain from Republican/NPL

In the October 28 vote, Ragnvald A. Nestos was elected as governor by a margin of 4,093.[3] He was sworn in on November 23.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Special Recall Election Oct. 28,1921" (PDF). North Dakota Secretary of State. October 28, 1921. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "North Dakota to Vote October 28 on Recall Aimed at Gov. Frazier and Townley League". The New York Times, September 17, 1921, p. 1.
  3. ^ Helm, Merry (October 28, 2003). "Dakota Datebook: Ragnvold Nestos". Prairie Public. Retrieved July 10, 2017.