1946 South Carolina gubernatorial election

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South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1946

← 1942 November 5, 1946 1950 →
  Strom Thurmond Govelect (1).jpg
Nominee Strom Thurmond
Party Democratic
Popular vote 26,520
Percentage 100.0%

Governor before election

Olin D. Johnston

Elected Governor

Strom Thurmond

The 1946 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 1946 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Strom Thurmond won the contested Democratic primary and ran unopposed in the general election becoming the 103rd governor of South Carolina.

Democratic primary[edit]

The South Carolina Democratic Party held their primary for governor in the summer of 1946 and ten candidates entered the contest; the race featured Governor Ransome Judson Williams, who became governor in 1945 upon the resignation of Olin D. Johnston, but it mainly became a contest between Strom Thurmond and James McLeod. Strom Thurmond was a World War II veteran and advocated a progressive platform whereas, James McLeod, a physician from Florence County, had the support of the "Barnwell Ring" and sought to maintain the status quo. Race was not an issue in the campaign and Strom Thurmond emerged victorious with the support of the returning veterans of World War II who wanted to reform South Carolina.

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Strom Thurmond 96,691 33.4
James C. McLeod 83,464 28.9
Ransome Judson Williams 35,813 12.4
John C. Taylor 22,447 7.8
Dell O'Neal 16,574 5.7
John D. Long 16,503 5.7
Carl B. Epps 5,189 1.8
Marcus A. Stone 4,353 1.5
A.L. Wood 3,040 1.0
Archie J. Beattie 2,889 1.0
Roger W. Scott 2,251 0.8
Democratic Primary Runoff
Candidate Votes % ±%
Strom Thurmond 144,420 57.0 +23.6
James C. McLeod 109,169 43.0 +14.1

General election[edit]

The general election was held on November 5, 1946 and Strom Thurmond was elected the next governor of South Carolina without opposition. Being a non-presidential election and with few contested races, turnout was much lower than in the Democratic primary election.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1946
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Strom Thurmond 26,520 100.0 0.0
Majority 26,520 100.0 0.0
Turnout 26,520
Democratic hold
  65+% won by Thurmond

See also[edit]


  • Edgar, Walter (1998). South Carolina A History. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-255-6.
  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876–1962. pp. 44–46.
  • "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of South Carolina to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, South Carolina: 1947, p. 10.

External links[edit]

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South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by