Election 1944: Clark trailing; Fish renominated in primaries (8-2-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 2, 1944)


In primaries –
Clark trailing; Fish renominated

Missouri Senator appears defeated
By the United Press

Senator Bennett Champ Clark, ardent isolationist before Pearl Harbor, was apparently defeated yesterday in his race for renomination in the Missouri Democratic primary, unofficial returns showed today.

Mr. Clark was trailing State Attorney General Roy McKittrick by more than 21,000 votes, the unofficial returns from 3,785 of Missouri’s 4,516 precincts giving McKittrick 147,229 and Clark 125,828 votes.

Clark was beaten in the rural sections. St. Louis and Kansas City practically cancelled each other, the former backing McKittrick and Kansas City going for Clark.

In the New York primary, the renomination of Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr., another pre-war isolationist, in New York’s reapportioned 29th district, was assured.

In another contest in a newly-aligned district in New York, Rep. Vito Marcantonio, seeking renomination for a fifth term, won both the Democratic and Republican nomination, leading Democratic Rep. Martin J. Kennedy of the old district, 10,100 to 7,759, and Republican Robert C. Palmer, 2,949 to 2,720.

Fish’s opponent concedes

Mr. Fish’s opponent, Newburgh attorney Augustus W. Bennet, conceded the nomination early today when unofficial returns from 252 of 278 precincts showed 13,975 votes for Fish and 10,891 for Bennet.

Mr. Bennet, however, was unopposed for the nomination for the Democratic and American Labor parties, and will oppose Mr. Fish in the November election.

Bennet to fight on

Mr. Bennet said later today that he was starting immediately to circulate a petition to have his name placed on the ballot on November as Independent Republican candidate – “independent of the dictates of the Hamilton Fish clique.”

He said:

The primary was but one phase of the crusade to crush those things Hamilton Fish stands for in the Republican Party and in American life.

The margin of victory was the smallest ever piled up by Mr. Fish, who battled for renomination in a reapportioned district in which voters of three counties were strangers.

In addition to the handicap of winning votes in new counties, Mr. Fish was also opposed by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee, and Wendell L. Willkie, the GOP’s 1940 candidate, who attempted to purge him for allegedly injecting racial and religious prejudices into the campaign.

Other Missouri races

In another Missouri primary contest, Governor Forrest C. Donnell won an easy victory for the Republican senatorial nomination with 65,055 votes on the basis of returns from 2,210 precincts. His nearest opponent was St. Louis shoe manufacturer Howard V. Stephens, who received 26,602 votes. It was a seven-man race.

A nip-and-tuck race developed in the Republican gubernatorial race. Returns from 2,220 precincts gave Charles Ferguson, former state Republican chairman, 59,203 to 58,578 for Lebanon lawyer Jean Paul Bradshaw. State Health Commissioner Dr. James Stewart had 17.156 votes in the three-man race.

State Senator Phil M. Donnelly had a 30,000-vote margin for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on the basis of returns from 2,237 precincts.

All incumbent Congressmen who had opposition in the primary were leading their opponents.

Kansas results

Returns from 733 of the state’s precincts gave Senator Clyde M. Reed a total of 21,553 votes, compared to 16,757 for Carl Friend.

In Virginia, Democratic Rep. Patrick H. Drewry win renomination on the basis of nearly complete but unofficial returns. But in the only other contest in that state, State Senator Ralph Daughton, backed by the political machine of Senator Harry F. Byrd, held a slim lead over his nearest rival in a three-war race for the party nomination to succeed Rep. Winder R. Harris, who withdrew to enter private business.

In another New York City contest, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Negro, defeated Mrs. Sara Pelham Speaks, Negro, for both the Republican and Democratic nomination in the new 22nd Congressional district which comprises Harlem.