1959 Chicago mayoral election

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1959 Chicago mayoral election

← 1955 April 7, 1959 1963 →
Turnout57.1%[1] Decrease 7.1 pp
  Richard J. Daley (JFKWHP-AR7347-A).jpg Timothy P. Sheehan (a).jpg
Nominee Richard J. Daley Timothy P. Sheehan
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 778,612 311,940
Percentage 71.40% 28.60%

Mayor before election

Richard J. Daley

Elected Mayor

Richard J. Daley

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1959 Richard J. Daley was elected to a second term as mayor by a landslide margin of more-than 40%.


Democratic primary[edit]

Daley faced no serious opposition for his party's nomination.

Chicago Democratic mayoral primary (February 24, 1959)[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard M. Daley (incumbent) 471,674 91.65
Democratic Lawrence "Lar" Daly 42,967 8.35
Turnout 514,641

Republican primary[edit]

Sheehan, a former Republican congressman, faced no serious competition in the Republican primary.

Sheehan had recently lost reelection to Congress in 1958.[3] Shaheen was a conservative Republican.[4]

Chicago Republican mayoral primary (February 24, 1959)[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Timothy P. Sheehan 70,140 85.07
Republican Lawrence "Lar" Daly 12,314 14.93
Turnout 82,454

General election[edit]

While he was a Republican congressman, Sheehan had nevertheless earned the respect of many Democrats. This gave him the potential to possibly earn votes in the general election of an overwhelmingly Democratic city. However, he ultimately was handed a landslide defeat from Daley.


Daley carried 49 of the city's 50 wards.[6]

Mayor of Chicago 1959 election[7] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard J. Daley (incumbent) 778,612 71.40
Republican Timothy P. Sheehan 311,940 28.60
Turnout 1,090,552


  1. ^ Denvir, Daniel (May 22, 2015). "Voter Turnout in U.S. Mayoral Elections Is Pathetic, But It Wasn't Always This Way". City Lab (The Atlantic). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  2. ^ "RaceID=389067". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Obituaries in the News".
  4. ^ Royko, Mike (October 1988). Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago. ISBN 9781101660584.
  5. ^ "RaceID=389066". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  6. ^ The Chicago Political Machine and Black-Ethnic Conflict and Accommodation Quintard Taylor Polish American Studies Vol. 29, No. 1/2 (Spring - Autumn, 1972), pp. 50 https://www.jstor.org/stable/20147848
  7. ^ "RaceID=8126". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 4, 2018.