Oregon gubernatorial special election, 1956

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Oregon gubernatorial special election, 1956
← 1954 November 6, 1956 1958 →
  Robert D. Holmes.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Robert D. Holmes Elmo Smith
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 369,439 361,840
Percentage 50.52% 49.48%

Oregon gubernatorial election, 1956.svg
County results

Governor before election

Elmo Smith

Elected Governor

Robert D. Holmes

The 1956 Oregon gubernatorial special election took place on November 6, 1954. Democratic state senator Robert D. Holmes narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Elmo Smith to win the election.


On January 31, 1956, Governor Paul L. Patterson, who was elected in the 1954 gubernatorial election, died in office of a coronary occlusion.[1] Patterson's death elevated Oregon State Senate President Elmo Smith to governor and a special election for November was called to fill the position for the final two years of Patterson's term.[2] The succession law was changed in 1972 so that the Oregon Secretary of State is first in line to succeed the governor.[3]

Election results[edit]

Oregon gubernatorial election, 1954[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Robert D. Holmes 369,439 50.52
Republican Elmo Smith 361,840 49.48
Total votes 731,279 100
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Governors of Oregon: Paul Linton Patterson". Oregon State Library. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Governors of Oregon: Elmo Smith". Oregon State Library. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Temporary governor eliminated: Measure modifies line of succession". The Bend Bulletin. 
  4. ^ "OR Governor Race - Nov 06, 1954". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 23, 2011.