1933 Pittsburgh mayoral election

The Mayoral election of 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1933. In a realigning election, Democrats regained control of the mayor's office for the first time in twenty-eight years; they have not relinquished this position since.

1933 Pittsburgh mayoral election
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← 1929 November 6, 1933 1937 →
Nominee William N. McNair John Herron
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 102,867 75,674
Percentage 57.3% 42.2%

Mayor before election

John Herron

Elected Mayor

William N. McNair


The incumbent mayor, John Herron of the Republican Party chose to run for his first full term. Herron had been elevated to the executive office from his position as city council president after Charles H. Kline resigned due to a fiscal scandal. Herron inherited a party whose once efficient machinery was in crisis.

Democrats, led by new powerful grassroots organizer David Lawrence (a future mayor), selected William McNair, an idealistic and outspoken attorney as their candidate. As the New Deal began, Pittsburgh's strong labor community moved rapidly toward the Democrats, creating a huge shift in voting patterns and allowing McNair to win.

Primary electionsEdit

Incumbent mayor John Herron won a divided Republican Primary against Councilman Peter J. McArdle and Register of Wills Joseph Mackrell.[1][2][3]

William McNair won the Democratic Primary.

General electionEdit

A total of 179,425 votes were cast.

Pittsburgh mayoral election, 1933[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William N. McNair 102,867 57.3
Republican John S. Herron* (incumbent) 75,674 42.2
Socialist William J. Van Essen 418 0.2
Liberal, Square Deal Joseph N. Mackrell† 255 0.1
Prohibition George D. Harger 211 0.1
Total votes 179,425 100.0

*Herron received 75,405 votes on the Republican ticket, 258 on the Citizens' Party ticket, and 11 on non-partisan ballots.
†Mackrell received 154 votes on Liberal Party and 101 on Square Deal Party ballots.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  2. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  3. ^ "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  4. ^ "Official Count Makes M'Nair's Margin 27,193". The Pittsburgh Press. November 29, 1933. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Return Board Fixes M'Nair's Lead at 27,193". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 29, 1933. p. 4.
Preceded by
Pittsburgh mayoral election
Succeeded by