Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1970

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Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1970

← 1966 November 3, 1970 1974 →
  Governor Francis Sargent.jpg Boston Mayor Kevin H White (cropped).jpg
Nominee Francis W. Sargent Kevin H. White
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,058,623 799,269
Percentage 56.67% 42.79%

1970 MA Governor.png
Results by town. Red indicates towns carried by Francis W. Sargent, blue indicates towns carried by Kevin H. White.

Governor before election

Francis W. Sargent

Elected Governor

Francis W. Sargent

The 1970 Massachusetts gubernatorial election was held on November 3, 1970. Acting Governor Francis W. Sargent was elected to a four-year term.[1] He defeated incumbent Boston Mayor Kevin H. White in the general election.[2]

Conventions and primaries[edit]

The Democratic Primary was a four-way contest between Kevin White, Senate President Maurice A. Donahue, former Presidential aide Kenneth O'Donnell, and former Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti. Donahue won the vote of the state convention held on June 15 at the Curry Hicks Cage. Donahue received 697 votes, White received 589, and the remaining 78 went to Bellotti.[3] Despite losing at the convention, White went on to win the Democratic Primary; defeating Donahue by 12,940 votes.[4]

1970 Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary [5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Kevin H. White 231,605 34.33%
Democratic Maurice A. Donahue 218,665 32.42%
Democratic Francis X. Bellotti 164,313 24.36%
Democratic Kenneth O'Donnell 59,970 8.89%
Write-in All others 24 0.00%

State Representative Michael Dukakis defeated Somerville treasurer Rocco Antonelli, Boston School Committeeman and former Governor's Councillor John J. Craven, Jr., former Boston School Committeewoman Kathleen Ryan Dacey, and attorney James McCormack to become the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

1970 Massachusetts Democratic Lieutenant gubernatorial primary [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Michael Dukakis 283,849 46.03%
Democratic James McCormack 150,901 24.47%
Democratic Rocco Antonelli 79,348 12.87%
Democratic Kathleen Ryan Dacey 54,205 8.79%
Democratic John J. Craven, Jr. 48,300 7.83%
Write-in All others 12 0.00%

Commissioner of Finance and Administration Donald R. Dwight defeated State Senator John M. Quinlan and Springfield Mayor Frank H. Freedman at the Republican convention to win his party's nomination for Lieutenant Governor.[7] State Representative Martin A. Linsky was Sargent's original choice for the nomination, however two weeks before the convention, Linsky dropped out of the race after it was revealed that police officers had once stopped his car and informed him that the woman was traveling with was a prostitute. After Linsky dropped out, Sargent endorsed Dwight.[8]

General election[edit]

Sargent defeated White by 259,354 votes. He won 11 of the Massachusetts' 14 counties and beat White in his home city of Boston 54–45%.[9]

Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1970
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Francis W. Sargent
(Donald R. Dwight)
1,058,623 56.67%
Democratic Kevin H. White
(Michael Dukakis)
799,269 42.79%
Socialist Labor Henning A. Blomen
(Francis A. Votano)
6,747 0.36%
Prohibition John C. Hedges
(Albert E. Bates)
3,189 0.17%
Write-in All others 78 0.00%


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Jeff Bradley (June 15, 1970). "Donahue Given Endorsement By De mocrats in Bay State". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Election Statistics. 
  7. ^ Nyhan, David (June 28, 1970). "Dwight Defeats Quinlan on 1st Ballot". The Boston Globe. 
  8. ^ "Moderate Named As Kennedy Foe". Associated Press. June 28, 1970. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Election Statistics.