1942 New York gubernatorial election

← 1938 November 3, 1942 1946 →
Thomas E. Dewey cph.3b29710.jpg
John J. Bennett, Jr. (New York Attorney General) (cropped).jpg
Dean Alfange 1922.jpg
Nominee Thomas E. Dewey John J. Bennett Jr. Dean Alfange
Party Republican Democratic American Labor
Popular vote 2,148,546 1,501,039 403,626
Percentage 52.10% 36.40% 9.79%

New York Governor Election Results by County, 1942.svg
County results

Dewey:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%

Bennett:      30-40%      40-50%      50-60%

Governor before election

Herbert H. Lehman

Elected Governor

Thomas E. Dewey

The 1942 New York state election was held on November 3, 1942, to elect the governor, the lieutenant governor, the state comptroller, the attorney general and two U.S. Representatives At-large, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.


The Industrial Government state convention met on April 5, and nominated again Aaron M. Orange for governor. They also nominated Bronko Papadopolis, of Buffalo, for lieutenant governor; O. Martin Olson for comptroller; and Eric Hass for attorney general.[1]

The Socialist state convention met on June 21 at 303 Fourth Avenue in New York City, and nominated Prof. Coleman B. Cheney for governor; Samuel H. Friedman for lieutenant governor; Joseph G. Glass for attorney general; the Rev. Herman J. Hahn for comptroller; and Miss Layle Lane, an African-American teacher, writer and lecturer, and Amicus Most, an engineer of New Rochelle, for the at-large Congress seats.[2] The petition to nominate these candidates was filed on August 31 with the Secretary of State.[3]

The Democratic state convention met on August 20. Influenced by James A. Farley, the convention nominated State Attorney General John J. Bennett, Jr., for governor on the first ballot with 623 votes against 393 for U.S. Senator James M. Mead, the candidate favored by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They re-nominated three incumbents: Lieutenant Governor Charles Poletti, Comptroller Joseph V. O'Leary, and Representative at-large Matthew J. Merritt; and completed the ticket with State Solicitor General Henry Epstein for attorney general; and Flora D. Johnson for the other at-large House seat.[4]

The American Labor state convention met on August 22, but instead of Bennett (or Mead), they nominated Tammany man Dean Alfange for governor. They re-nominated Comptroller O'Leary, an American Laborite who had been appointed by Governor Herbert H. Lehman to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Morris S. Tremaine. They endorsed Democrats Poletti, Merritt, and Johnson; and completed the ticket with Alexander Kahn for attorney general.[5]

The Republican state convention met on August 24 at Saratoga Springs, New York. They nominated 1938 candidate Thomas E. Dewey for Governor again, and adjourned.[6] On August 25 they nominated Thomas W. Wallace for lieutenant governor; Frank C. Moore for comptroller; Nathaniel L. Goldstein for attorney general; and Charles Muzzicato and Winifred C. Stanley for Representative at-large.[7]

The Communist Party filed a nominating petition for their candidates on August 28. They nominated Israel Amter for governor; Frank Herron, of Buffalo, for lieutenant governor; Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., of New York City, for attorney general; Fred Briehl, a dairy farmer of Wallkill, for comptroller; and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Robert Minor for Representative at-large.[8] Herron, Briehl, Davis, and Minor withdrew from the ticket,[9] and Davis was then nominated for Representative at-large, leaving three gaps on the ticket.[10]


Republicans won almost all statewide elective offices, only the incumbent Democratic Congressman Merritt was re-elected. The incumbents Poletti and O'Leary were defeated.

This was the last election of U.S. Representatives at-large from New York. In 1944 New York's Congressional district map was redrawn to add two more districts. All U.S. Representatives from New York have been elected in individual districts ever since.

1942 state election results
Office Republican ticket Democratic ticket American Labor ticket Communist ticket Socialist ticket Industrial Government ticket
Governor Thomas E. Dewey 2,148,546 John J. Bennett, Jr. 1,501,039 Dean Alfange 403,626 Israel Amter 45,220 Coleman B. Cheney[11] 21,911 Aaron M. Orange[12] 3,496
Lieutenant Governor Thomas W. Wallace 2,021,285 Charles Poletti 1,555,298 Charles Poletti 411,684 (none) Samuel H. Friedman[13] 25,192 Bronko Papadopolis 3,295
Comptroller Frank C. Moore 2,012,380 Joseph V. O'Leary 1,526,915 Joseph V. O'Leary 383,808 (none) Herman J. Hahn[14] 23,968 O. Martin Olson[15] 3,915
Attorney General Nathaniel L. Goldstein 1,911,747 Henry Epstein[16] 1,538,415 Alexander Kahn[17] 335,369 (none) Joseph G. Glass 31,957 Eric Hass 7,570
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (at-large) Charles Muzzicato 1,888,925 Matthew J. Merritt 1,577,163 Matthew J. Merritt 334,951 Benjamin J. Davis, Jr. 52,002 Amicus Most 19,294
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (at-large) Winifred C. Stanley 1,965,794 Flora D. Johnson[18] 1,536,432 Flora D. Johnson 338,031 Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 50,305 Layle Lane 22,361



  1. ^ STATE TICKET NOMINATED; Socialist Labor Party Names A.M. Orange for Governor in NYT on April 6, 1942 (subscription required)
  2. ^ SOCIALISTS NOMINATE CHENEY FOR GOVERNOR in NYT on June 22, 1942 (subscription required)
  3. ^ Socialist Ticket Filed in NYT on September 1, 1942 (subscription required)
  4. ^ BENNETT WINS NOMINATION ON FIRST BALLOT, 623-393 in NYT on August 21, 1942 (subscription required)
  5. ^ ALFANGE IS NAMED BY A. L. P. TO RUN FOR GOVERNORSHIP in NYT on August 23, 1942 (subscription required)
  6. ^ REPUBLICANS NAME DEWEY UNANIMOUSLY FOR GOVERNOR in NYT on August 25, 1942 (subscription required)
  7. ^ TICKET IS SELECTED TO SUPPORT DEWEY in NYT on August 26, 1942 (subscription required)
  8. ^ COMMUNISTS FILE TICKET AT ALBANY in NYT on August 29, 1942 (subscription required)
  9. ^ AMTER TO REMAIN IN RACE IN STATE; To Continue Campaign Despite Withdrawal of Four Others From Communist Ticket in NYT on September 5, 1942 (subscription required)
  10. ^ COMMUNISTS LEAVE 3 GAPS ON TICKET in NYT on September 8, 1942 (subscription required)
  11. ^ Coleman B. Cheney, Professor of Economics at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, ran also for comptroller in 1936 and 1938
  12. ^ Aaron M. Orange, of The Bronx, public school teacher, ran also for governor in 1932, 1934 and 1938; and for U.S. Vice President in 1940
  13. ^ Samuel H. Friedman, editor of The Call, the Socialist Party's paper
  14. ^ Rev. Herman J. Hahn, of Buffalo, ran also for lieutenant governor in 1928 and 1936; and for the U.S. Senate in 1938
  15. ^ O. Martin Olson, of Jamestown, ran also for comptroller in 1934; and for the U.S. Senate in 1938
  16. ^ Henry Epstein (died 1961), New York State Solicitor General, later New York Supreme Court Justice and Deputy Mayor of New York, ran also for the Court of Appeals in 1946, HENRY EPSTEIN, JUSTICE IS DEAD in NYT on December 31, 1961 (subscription required)
  17. ^ Alexander Kahn, general manager of the Jewish Daily Forward
  18. ^ Flora D. Johnson, of Syracuse


New York Red Book 1943 with correction in Epstein Attorney General total for misprint in Richmond County total. Correction consistent with total reported by NYV Board of Elections. Correction added 18,000 votes to Epstein total

See also

New York gubernatorial elections