Jimi Hendrix Clara McCarty Captain Robert Gray Anna Louise StrongAnna Louise Strong Bailey Gatzert Home WWII Women Pilots
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7100 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Voters re-elect Senator Henry Jackson and six U.S. Representatives on November 4, 1958.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5583 : Printer-Friendly Format

On November 4, 1958, Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (1912-1983) easily defeats Republican challenger William B. Bantz (1918-2000) to win his second term in the U.S. Senate. Six incumbents (five Republicans and a Democrat) are re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Republican Catherine May (1914-2004) of Yakima wins an open House seat in the Fourth District.

Consistent Campaigner

Jackson was the most consistently successful vote-getter in the state’s history. Following six terms (12 years) in the House of Representatives, he was first elected to the Senate in 1952, and served there until his death in 1983, winning six Senate elections by sizeable margins. A staunch "Cold War liberal," Jackson throughout his career combined unstinting advocacy for increased military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union with support for civil rights, the labor movement, and increased social welfare programs including national health insurance. For most of his career, and certainly in 1958, these positions commanded widespread support among his constituents, as did Jackson’s personal integrity and clean-cut political image.

Jackson did not take his popularity for granted. He returned frequently from Washington D.C. to visit the state and meet constituents. Although he was not an outstanding public speaker, he was an excellent one-on-one campaigner, with a remarkable ability (assisted by detailed notes) to remember voters' names and important personal information. Jackson and his staff built up numerous political connections throughout the state. And he always campaigned hard and sought substantial victories, perhaps motivated in part by a desire for higher office -- he would later run twice, unsuccessfully, for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Convincing Victories

Therefore Jackson took it seriously, if not personally, when he was challenged in the 1958 Democratic Senate primary by Alice Franklin Bryant, a Seattle peace activist and frequent unsuccessful candidate for various offices. Bryant reflected the views of what was then a small minority of the Democratic party that opposed the military build-up, especially of nuclear weapons, that Jackson strongly supported. Jackson firmly rebuffed the primary challenge, winning all 39 counties with 334,862 votes to Bryant’s 55,200.

In the general election, Jackson faced a weak Republican opponent in "Big Bill" Bantz of Spokane, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 1953 to 1958. Nevertheless, he took no chances, spending more on his campaign than all but one other incumbent senator. Jackson won more than two thirds of the votes, 67 percent (597,040 votes) to Bantz’s 31 percent (278,271). A convincing landslide, but Jackson would go on to do better -- he won his remaining four Senate elections with between 69 and 82 percent of the vote.

In the House races, Republican Representatives Thomas M. Pelly (1902-1973) in the First District, Jack Westland (1904-1982) in the Second, Russell V. Mack (1891-1960) in the Third, Walt Horan (1898-1966) in the Fifth, and Thor C. Tollefson (1901-1982) in the Sixth were re-elected. In the Third District race, Mack defeated Victor A. Meyers (1898-1991), the former band leader and Lieutenant Governor who was then Secretary of State. Democratic Representative Don Magnuson (1911-1979), who had held an at-large House seat since 1952, was also re-elected, winning the newly created Seventh District. One new member joined Washington’s Congressional delegation. Yakima Republican state legislator Catherine May defeated Frank LeRoux by 54 percent (66,544 votes) to 46 percent (56,308 votes) to win the Fourth District seat in Central Washington that had been held by fellow Republican Hal Holmes (1902-1977).

Official Abstract of Votes, State Primary, September 9, 1958 (Olympia: Secretary of State, 1958); Official Abstract of Votes, State General Election, November 4, 1958 (Olympia: Secretary of State, 1958); Robert G. Kaufman, Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), 112; Peter J. Ognibene, Scoop: The Life and Politics of Henry M. Jackson (New York: Stein and Day, 1975), 77-78, 80-81, 114; William W. Prochnau and Richard W. Larsen, A Certain Democrat: Senator Henry M. Jackson (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972), 312-13.

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Government & Politics |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

This essay made possible by:
Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Henry "Scoop" Jackson (1912-1983), n.d.
Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. UW3045)

Catherine May (1914-2001), ca. 1960
Courtesy Washington Women's History Consortium

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org