1897 Chicago mayoral election

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1897 Chicago mayoral election
← 1895 April 6, 1897 1899 →
  Carter Harrison Jr (1).jpg John Maynard Harlan 1905 (1).png
Nominee Carter Harrison Jr. John Maynard Harlan
Party Democratic Independent Republican
Popular vote 148,850 69,730
Percentage 50.23% 23.53%

  Nathaniel C. Sears 1904 Lithograph (a).jpg Washington Hesing by Max Platz (1).jpg
Nominee Nathaniel C. Sears Washington Hesing
Party Republican Independent Democratic
Popular vote 59,513 15,427
Percentage 20.08% 5.21%

Mayor before election

George Bell Swift

Elected Mayor

Carter Harrison Jr.

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1897 Democratic nominee Carter Harrison Jr. was elected, winning a majority of the vote and defeating independent Republican John Maynard Harlan, Republican nominee Nathaniel C. Sears, independent Democrat Washington Hesing, as well as several minor candidates. Harrison carried a 26.7 point lead over second-place finisher Harlan, a margin greater than Harlan's vote share itself.

Harrison was the son of former mayor Carter Harrison Sr.

Republicans nominee Sears was a Cook County Superior Court Judge.[1]

The election took place on April 6.[2][3][4]

The second-place finish Municipal Voters League reformer John Maynard Halran evidenced the strength of the independent pro-reform vote in Chicago.[5]

Republican nominee Sears was the first resident of Edgewater to run for mayor.[6]

The election had held the record for being the Chicago mayoral election to have the most candidates running on the ballot for 122 years, until the 2019 Chicago mayoral election surpassed it.


John Maynard Harlan (Independent Republican)
Carter Harrison Jr. (Democratic)

General election

1897 Chicago mayoral election[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carter Harrison Jr. 148,850 50.23
Independent Republican John Maynard Harlan 69,730 23.53
Republican Nathaniel C. Sears 59,513 20.08
Independent Democratic Washington Hesing 15,427 5.21
Socialist Labor John Glambeck 1,230 0.42
Prohibition H. L. Parmelee 910 0.31
Independent J. Irving Pearce, Jr. 561 0.19
Independent Frank Howard Collier 110 0.04
Turnout 296,331

Harrison received 82.91% of the Polish-American vote.[9]


  1. ^ "Judiciary of Cook County". The Chicago Eagle. May 4, 1895. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book. Chicago: Chicago Daily News. 1911. p. 538.
  3. ^ Mayor Carter Henry Harrison IV Biography
  4. ^ Currey, Josiah Seymour (1912). "Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, a Century of Marvelous Growth".
  5. ^ Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97 Front Cover Richard Schneirov University of Illinois Press, 1998 (page 347)
  6. ^ "Edgewater Teasers Vol. XVI No. 3 - FALL 2005". Edgewater History. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition, fourth edition by Paul M. Green, Melvin G. Holli SIU Press, Jan 10, 2013
  8. ^ Tompkins, C. David (1963). "John Peter Altgeld as a Candidate for Mayor of Chicago in 1899". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 56 (4): 654–676. JSTOR 40189944.
  9. ^ Kantowicz, Edward (1972). "The Emergence of the Polish-Democratic Vote in Chicago". Polish American Studies. 29 (1/2): 67–80. JSTOR 20147849.
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