1909 Los Angeles mayoral election

The 1909 Los Angeles mayoral election took place on November 9, 1909, with a run-off election on December 7, 1909. Incumbent George Alexander was re-elected over George A. Smith in the runoff election.

1909 Los Angeles mayoral election
← March 1909 November 9, 1909 (1909-11-09) and December 7, 1909 (1909-12-07) 1911 →
Candidate George Alexander George A. Smith
First round 12,143
Runoff 20,291

Candidate William C. Mushet Oscar E. Farish
First round 7,165
Runoff Eliminated Eliminated

Mayor before election

George Alexander

Elected Mayor

George Alexander

Municipal elections in California, including Mayor of Los Angeles, are officially nonpartisan; candidates' party affiliations do not appear on the ballot.[1]


Incumbent George Alexander won the March 1909 Los Angeles mayoral election to finish Arthur C. Harper's term, and was now seeking a full term. He was challenged by George A. Smith, a fellow Republican and former Councilman, William C. Mushet, an Independent who was the Los Angeles City Auditor, and Oscar Eugene Farish, a Democrat and former Councilman.

In the primary, Smith and Mushet were close in totals to be included on the ballot for the runoff election, and some Mushet supporters floated the idea of Smith withdrawing to allow Mushet on the ballot.[2] In the results, Smith had a lead by a small margin, placing him on the ballot.[3] After the results of the primary were released, Mushet sued for a recount, alleging misconduct in every precinct.[4] A month later, he stated that he had "failed to gain a place on the ballot partly because of a defect in the primary election law."[5]

In the general election, Alexander defeated Smith with a majority vote.[6][7]


Primary election

Los Angeles mayoral primary election, November 9, 1909[8]
Candidate Votes %
George Alexander (incumbent) 12,143 39.59
George A. Smith 7,184 23.42
William C. Mushet 7,165 23.36
Oscar Eugene Farish 3,254 10.61
W. Scott Lewis 720 2.35
James C. Hurley 116 0.38
J. W. Jones 88 0.29
Total votes 30,670 100.00

General election

Los Angeles mayoral general election, December 7, 1909[9]
Candidate Votes %
George Alexander (incumbent) 20,291 54.47
George A. Smith 16,964 45.54
Total votes 37,255 100.00

References and footnotes

  2. ^ "THREATENS TO KNIFE NOMINEE". Los Angeles Herald. November 14, 1909.
  3. ^ "MUSHET AND SMITH RUN CLOSE RACE FOR PLACE ON BALLOT". Los Angeles Herald. November 11, 1909.
  4. ^ "MUSHET SUES FOR RECOUNT.: He Alleges Malconduct in Every Precinct; Smith's Counsel Undecided as to His Course; Co-operation for a Quick Finish Hoped for. SUES FOR RECOUNT". Los Angeles Times. November 16, 1909. ProQuest 159380134.
  5. ^ "MUSHET MAKES HIS PREFERENCE CLEAR.: Opposed to Control of City by Newspaper Bosses--"God Help Los Angeles if Good Government Organization Manipulators Win."". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1909. ProQuest 159400028.
  6. ^ Los Angeles Herald, page 1
  7. ^ "Official Returns," Los Angeles Herald, December 9, 1909
  8. ^ "Los Angeles Mayor - Primary". Our Campaigns.
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Mayor". Our Campaigns.

External links