Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1974

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Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1974

← 1970 November 5, 1974 1978 →
Turnout 74.64% Decrease 0.53 [1]

  Governor Dukakis speaks at the 1976 Democratic National Convention (cropped).jpg Governor Francis Sargent.jpg
Nominee Michael Dukakis Francis W. Sargent
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 992,284 784,353
Percentage 53.50% 42.29%

1974 MA Governor.png
Results by town. Red indicates towns carried by Francis W. Sargent, blue indicates towns carried by Michael Dukakis.

Governor before election

Francis W. Sargent

Elected Governor

Michael Dukakis

The 1974 Massachusetts gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 1974. Michael Dukakis was elected to a four-year term, from January 4, 1975 until January 4, 1979.[2] He defeated incumbent Governor of Massachusetts Francis W. Sargent in the general election.[3]



Governor Sargent defeated former State Commerce Commissioner Carroll Sheehan in the Republican primary.

1974 Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial primary[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Francis W. Sargent 124,250 63.32%
Republican Carroll Sheehan 71,936 36.66%
Write-in All others 46 0.02%

In the Democratic Primary, Michael Dukakis, a former State Representative and the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor in 1970, defeated Attorney General Robert H. Quinn.[5]

1974 Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Michael Dukakis 444,590 57.67%
Democratic Robert H. Quinn 326,385 42.33%
Write-in All others 46 0.01%

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Donald R. Dwight was unopposed in the Republican Primary. Thomas P. O'Neill III, son of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O'Neill, defeated Christopher A. Iannella, Eva Hester, John P. Lynch, and Thomas Martin Sullivan for the Democratic nomination.[7]

1974 Massachusetts Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial primary[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Thomas P. O'Neill III 250,259 35.69%
Democratic Christopher A. Iannella 190,587 27.18%
Democratic Eva Hester 97,665 13.93%
Democratic John P. Lynch 81,874 11.68%
Democratic Thomas Martin Sullivan 80,745 11.52%
Write-in All others 15 0.00%

General election[edit]

Dukakis defeated Sargent by 207,931 votes.[9] It was the first gubernatorial victory for the Massachusetts Democratic Party since 1962.

Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1974
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Michael Dukakis
(Thomas P. O'Neill III)
992,284 53.50%
Republican Francis W. Sargent
(Donald R. Dwight)
784,353 42.29%
American Leo F. Kahian
(Nicholas J. Greco)
63,083 3.40%
Socialist Workers Donald Gurewitz
(Ollie Bivins)
15,011 0.81%