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Magnuson narrowly defeats Republican Williams on November 7, 1950.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5612 : Printer-Friendly Format

On November 7, 1950, first-term Democrat U.S. Senator Warren G. Magnuson (1905-1989) defeats Republican challenger W. Walter Williams by a vote of 397,719 (53.4 percent) to 342,464 (46 percent). Magnuson served in the U. S. Senate from 1944 until 1980, when Republican Slade Gorton defeated him during the Reagan landslide. He was one of Washington's most influential Senators ever.

W. Walter Williams (1894-1983) was president of Continental Mortgage and Savings Bank (now Home Street Bank) in Seattle and an influential Republican. He would play a pivotal role in convincing Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1959) to seek the Republic Party nomination for president in 1952. His son, Walter B. Williams (b. 1918), was a respected member of the Washington State Senate from Seattle in the 1960s.

Magnuson, who got the the nickname Maggie in high school (though friends and family called him Warren), lived in Seattle when not representing the state in Washington D.C. The state delegation comprised two Democrats and four Republicans in the House and one Democrat and one Republican in the Senate. The years 1946 to 1952 were the only time a Republican Washington State Senator, Harry P. Cain, served with Magnuson in the U.S. Senate.

Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st through 105th Congresses (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1998), 585, 587.

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Senator Warren Magnuson (1905-1989), 1950s
Courtesy www.magnusonpark.org

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