1916 Arizona gubernatorial election

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1916 Arizona gubernatorial election

← 1914 November 7, 1916 1918 →
  George WP Hunt.jpg Thomas E Campbell 2.jpg
Nominee George W. P. Hunt Thomas E. Campbell
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 28,094 28,051
Percentage 48.01% 47.94%

Governor before election

George W. P. Hunt

Elected Governor

Thomas E. Campbell (until recount)

The 1916 Arizona gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 1916 for the post of the Governor of Arizona. Due to battles between labor and business,[1] the Hunt administration was facing severe electoral backlash. After facing a fairly strong primary by former Council member George Olney, Hunt prevailed and went on to face the closest election in Arizona gubernatorial history. The initial results of the 1916 election were extremely close, with Campbell winning by only 30 votes.

Victory hinged on whether to count certain votes. Arizona then had a ballot where voters could check a party column ballot signifying they voted for all of a party. Some voters did that for the Democratic Party column, but then also checked for Republican challenger Thomas Campbell, [2] leading to a court battle over the interpretation of whether those votes were valid or not. All ballots that were marked as straight Democrat and Hunt, were originally counted for Campbell giving him the 30 vote majority.

Thomas E. Campbell was sworn in as governor on January 1, 1917, but Hunt refused to leave office. The state Supreme Court ruled that Campbell should serve as the de facto governor until the legal issues were resolved and so Hunt stepped down on the 27th.[3] After losing a case in the Maricopa County Superior Court in May, Hunt appealed to the state Supreme Court. On December 22, the state Supreme Court declared that Hunt had won by 43 votes. Hunt took office again on Christmas of 1917, after the court ruled unanimously in his favor. Campbell served nearly an entire year as governor. This would be the last election in which Hunt would run until 1922.

Democratic primary[edit]


  • George W. P. Hunt, incumbent governor
  • George A. Olney, former Arizona Territorial Council member


Democratic primary results [4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George W. P. Hunt 18,122 59.65%
Democratic George A. Olney 12,261 40.35%
Total votes 30,383 100.00

General election[edit]


Arizona gubernatorial election, 1916 (original returns)[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Thomas E. Campbell 27,976 47.99%
Democratic George W. P. Hunt 27,946 47.94%
Socialist Peter T. Robinson 1,975 3.39%
Prohibition Robert E. Dunlap 396 0.68%
Majority 30 0.05%
Turnout 58,293
Republican gain from Democratic Swing
Arizona gubernatorial election, 1916 (Court recount, 1917) [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic George W. P. Hunt 28,094 48.01%
Republican Thomas E. Campbell 28,051 47.94%
Socialist Peter T. Robinson 1,975 3.38%
Prohibition Robert E. Dunlap 396 0.68%
Majority 43 0.07%
Turnout 58,516
Democratic gain from Republican Swing



  • Goff, John S. (1973). "Troubles of a Governor and Federal Labor Conciliator". George W. P. Hunt and his Arizona. Phoenix: Socio-Technical Publications. p. 96.

External links[edit]