Burton M. Cross
|Burton M. Cross|
|61st and 63rd Governor of Maine|
January 7, 1953 – January 5, 1955
|Preceded by||Nathaniel M. Haskell|
|Succeeded by||Edmund Muskie|
December 24, 1952 – January 6, 1953
|Preceded by||Frederick G. Payne|
|Succeeded by||Nathaniel M. Haskell|
|Member of the Maine Senate|
|Member of the Maine House of Representatives|
November 15, 1902|
Gardiner, Maine, U.S.
|Died||October 22, 1998
Augusta Maine, U.S.
In 1933 Cross won a seat on the Augusta Common Council and four years later in 1937 moved up to the Board of Aldermen, presiding over both bodies. Elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1941 he served two terms before moving up to the Maine Senate in 1945. He became majority floor leader in 1947 and President of the Senate in 1949 until 1952.
In 1952 Cross won the Republican nomination for Governor and went on to defeat Democrat James Oliver in the general election by a substantial margin. Cross actually became Governor about two weeks prior to the start of his elected term of office. The outgoing Governor, Frederick G. Payne resigned on December 25, 1952 to prepare for his term in the United States Senate; Cross, as President of the Senate became Governor through constitutional succession. Cross himself resigned as Senate President (and Governor) at 10:00am January 6, 1953 and was replaced for the next 25 hours by Nathaniel Haskell. At 11:00am on January 7, 1953, Cross' official elected term of office began.
Although exonerated in a liquor scandal, a politically wounded Cross was defeated in his reelection bid in 1954 by Democratic challenger, Edmund S. Muskie, by over 20,000 votes.
Cross never sought public office again but returned to private life engaging in the insurance and stock brokerage business until his retirement in 1971.
In 2001, after major renovations, the Maine State Office Building was dedicated to Cross. A plaque in his honor is located in the second floor lobby.
Frederick G. Payne
|61st Governor of Maine
Nathaniel M. Haskell
Nathaniel M. Haskell
|63rd Governor of Maine
Edmund S. Muskie