Washington voters prefer Richard Nixon for U.S. president, re-elect Governor Albert Rosellini, and vote to retain the Alien Land Law on November 8, 1960.

  • By Kit Oldham
  • Posted 11/26/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5619

On November 8, 1960, Washington voters give Republican Richard Nixon (1913-1994) the state's presidential electoral votes (though Nixon narrowly loses the national vote), elect Democrat Albert Rosellini (1910-2011) to a second term as governor, and vote to retain the "Alien Land Law" provision of the Washington State Constitution.  The Alien Land Law, nullified years ago, bars Asians from owning property.  Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) wins the national presidential race by a slim 119,000 votes.

Governor Albert Rosellini narrowly defeats Republican challenger Lloyd Andrews, 50.34 percent (611,987 votes) to 48.87 percent (594,122 votes). Seventh District Congressman Don Magnuson defeats Republican challenger John Stender by an even smaller margin, winning a recount by only 139 votes. Republican House incumbents Thomas M. Pelly (1902-1973) in the First District, Jack Westland (1904-1982) in the Second, Catherine May (b. 1914) in the Fourth, Walt Horan (1898-1966) in the Fifth, and Thor C. Tollefson (1901-1982) in the Sixth, win re-election by more comfortable margins. In Southwest Washington's Third District, Democrat Julia Butler Hansen (1907-1988) defeats Republican Dale M. Nordquist in the race to replace Republican Russell V. Mack (1891-1960), who died in office.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995, 203; The Seattle Times, November 8, 1960; Official Abstract of Votes, State General Election, November 8, 1960 (Olympia: Secretary of State, 1960).

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