1913 United States Senate election in South Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The 1913 South Carolina United States Senate election was mostly a Democratic Party primary election held the previous summer on August 27, 1912 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Prior to the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, U.S. Senators were elected by the state legislature and not through the direct election by the people of the state. However, the Democratic Party of South Carolina organized primary elections for the U.S. Senate beginning in 1896 and the General Assembly would confirm the choice of the Democratic voters. Incumbent Democratic Senator Ben Tillman won the Democratic primary and was re-elected by the General Assembly for another six-year term.

Democratic primary[edit]

Ben Tillman, a Senator since 1895, drew opposition in the Democratic primary for the first time during his career. He had long avoided any opposition because of his influence in the Democratic Party in the state, but by 1912 he had moderated his positions and lost the radical edge that had allowed him to build up a hard core following of support. The radicals in the state electorate had thrown their support to Coleman Livingston Blease in the gubernatorial election of 1910 and the Bleasites were determined to knock his chief opponent, Tillman, out of office. W. Jasper Talbert emerged as the candidate of the Bleasites and Nathaniel B. Dial entered the race as an alternative to the two. The voters of the state split their support between the Tillmanite and Bleasite factions as both Tillman and Blease won their respective primaries.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Benjamin Tillman 73,148 52.7
W. Jasper Talbert 37,141 26.8
Nathaniel B. Dial 28,476 20.5

See also[edit]


  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. pp. 62–63.
  • "Tillman Against Blease". New York Times. 25 August 1912. p. 14.