1855 Ohio gubernatorial election

The 1855 Ohio gubernatorial election was held on October 9, 1855. Incumbent Democratic Governor of Ohio William Medill became governor after the resignation of Reuben Wood to accept a consulship, and Lt. Governor Medill became elected in his own right in 1853. The 1855 election was one of the first major tests of the fledgling Republican Party, then still a coalition of various anti-slavery forces, including former rival Democrats and Whig members. This election led them to quickly dominate Ohio politics for the next half-century.

1855 Ohio gubernatorial election

← 1853 October 9, 1855 1857 →
  Mathew Brady, Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government (1860–1865).jpg William Medill at statehouse.jpg Allen Trimble.jpg
Nominee Salmon Chase William Medill Allen Trimble
Party Republican Democratic Know Nothing
Popular vote 146,770 131,019 24,276
Percentage 48.59% 43.37% 8.04%

Governor before election

William Medill

Elected Governor

Salmon Chase

The election is also unique in that it was a contest of three Governors, past, present, and future. With Allen Trimble having served in the 1820s, William Medill serving at the time of the election, and Salmon Chase succeeding Medill. Trimble proved to be somewhat of a spoiler candidate, leaving Chase to win with only a plurality of the votes.

Republican conventionEdit



1855 Republican convention[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Salmon Chase 225 60.98%
Republican Joseph R. Swan 102 27.64%
Republican Hiram Griswold 42 11.38%
Total votes 369 100.00%

General electionEdit


Ohio gubernatorial election, 1855[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Salmon Chase 146,770 48.59%
Democratic William Medill (incumbent) 131,019 43.37%
Know Nothing Allen Trimble 24,276 8.04%
Majority 15,751 5.21%
Turnout 302,065
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


  1. ^ Smith, Joseph Patterson (1898). History of the Republican party in Ohio. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 36. Retrieved 2022-06-28.
  2. ^ Dubin, Michael J. (2003). United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1776-1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. pp. 211–212. ISBN 9780786414390.