1930 Arkansas gubernatorial election

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1930 Arkansas gubernatorial election

← 1928 November 4, 1930 (1930-11-04) 1932 →
Nominee Harvey Parnell James Livesay
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 115,574 26,161
Percentage 81.5%[1] 18.5%[2]

Arkansas Governor Election Results by County, 1930.svg
County results

     50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
     80–90%      90%+

     50–60%      70–80%

Governor before election

Harvey Parnell

Elected Governor

Harvey Parnell

The 1930 Arkansas gubernatorial election was held on November 4, 1930, to elect the Governor of Arkansas, concurrently with the election to Arkansas's Class II U.S. Senate seat, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Democratic Governor Harvey Parnell had won office in 1928, and was seeking reelection in 1930. During this period, it was customary for faithful governors to be reelected to a second term in Arkansas. In the Solid South, winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election, a trend that resulted in Democratic control of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion from 1874 to 1967. Parnell won a seven-candidate primary, and was nominated by the party. The Republicans nominated James Livesay, a lawyer from Foreman in Little River County.

Parnell defeated Livesay in a landslide election, but would see his popularity decline sharply in the next two years, as the Dust Bowl and Great Depression damaged the Arkansas economy. Parnell's popular progressive programs from his first term would come under fire in his second term, with many claiming his highway modernization program and school reforms were bankrupting the state.

Democratic primary[edit]


Democratic primary, 1930[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harvey Parnell 94,207 41.6
Democratic Brooks Hays 57,497 25.4
Democratic Tom Terral 34,476 15.2
Democratic J. Carrol Cone 31,786 14.1
Democratic R. K. Mason 3,398 1.5
Democratic Ben L. Griffin 2,617 1.2
Democratic J. R. Venable 2,205 1.0
Total votes 226,186 100.0


Republicans did not hold primaries in Arkansas until the 1960s, instead nominating their candidates at the state convention. James Livesay, a lawyer and judge from Foreman, was nominated as the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Third parties[edit]

General election[edit]


Arkansas gubernatorial election, 1930[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harvey Parnell 115,574 81.5
Republican James Livesay 26,161 18.5
Total votes 141,735 100.0
Democratic hold


  1. ^ "Elections" (1950), pp. 25-26.
  2. ^ "Elections" (1950), pp. 25-26.
  3. ^ "Elections" (1950), pp. 24-25.
  4. ^ "Elections" (1950), pp. 25-26.
  • Arnold, Morris S.; DeBlack, Thomas A.; Sabo III, George; Whayne, Jeannie M. (2002). Arkansas: A narrative history (1st ed.). Fayetteville, Arkansas: The University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-724-4. OCLC 49029558.
  • Donovan, Timothy Paul; Gatewood, Willard B.; Whayne, Jeannie M., eds. (1995). The Governors of Arkansas: Essays in Political Biography (2 ed.). University of Arkansas Press.
  • Heard, Alexander; Strong, Donald S. (1950). Southern Primaries and Elections, 1920-1949. University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. OCLC 500982.