1940 Montana gubernatorial election

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1940 Montana gubernatorial election

← 1936 November 5, 1940 1944 →
  3x4.svg Roy E. Ayers.jpg
Nominee Sam C. Ford Roy E. Ayers
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 124,435 119,453
Percentage 50.67% 48.64%

Governor before election

Roy E. Ayers

Elected Governor

Sam C. Ford

The 1940 Montana gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 1940. Incumbent Governor of Montana Roy E. Ayers, who was first elected governor in 1936, ran for re-election. He narrowly won the Democratic primary by just over a thousand votes to win renomination, and advanced to the general election, where he was opposed by Sam C. Ford, a former Associate Justice of the Montana Supreme Court and the Republican nominee. Ultimately, in spite of the fact that then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt comfortably won the state in that year's presidential election, Ford narrowly defeated Ayers to win his first of two terms as governor.

Democratic primary[edit]



Democratic Party primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Roy E. Ayers (inc.) 40,268 38.23
Democratic Arthur F. Lamey 39,010 37.04
Democratic A. E. Kathan 26,041 24.73
Total votes 105,319 100.00

Republican primary[edit]



Republican Primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sam C. Ford 16,335 32.90
Republican Charles A. Hauswirth 14,397 29.00
Republican Julius J. Wuerthner 8,685 17.49
Republican T. S. Stockdahl 5,439 10.95
Republican Martin P. Moe 3,994 8.04
Republican John H. Leuthold 802 1.62
Total votes 49,652 100.00

General election[edit]


Montana gubernatorial election, 1940[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Sam C. Ford 124,435 50.67% +2.55%
Democratic Roy E. Ayers (inc.) 119,453 48.64% -2.31%
Communist Arvo Fredrickson 1,713 0.70% +0.53%
Majority 4,982 2.03% -0.80%
Turnout 245,601
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ a b "Report of the Official Canvass of the Vote Cast at the Primary Election Held in the State of Montana, July 16, 1940" (PDF). Montana Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-28. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "Official Montana General Election Returns, November 5, 1940" (PDF). Montana Secretary of State. Retrieved July 6, 2014.