New York state election, 1974

New York state election, 1974

The 1974 New York state election was held on November 5, 1974, to elect the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, two judges of the New York Court of Appeals and a U.S. Senator, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.



On 1973, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller resigned, and was succeeded by Lt. Gov. Malcolm Wilson.

In 1973, Judge Charles D. Breitel was elected Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Judge Adrian P. Burke resigned, effective December 31, 1973, thus leaving two vacancies on the Court of Appeals. In January 1974, Republican Samuel Rabin and Democrat Harold A. Stevens, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division's First and Second Departments, were appointed by Governor Malcolm Wilson to fill the vacancies temporarily.[1]


Democratic primary

The Democratic State Committee met from June 13 to 15 at Niagara Falls, New York, and designated Howard J. Samuels for Governor, but Congressman Hugh L. Carey polled enough votes to force a primary election.[2] They also designated Mario M. Cuomo for Lieutenant Governor;[3] the incumbent Arthur Levitt for Comptroller; Robert R. Meehan for Attorney General; Judge Harold A. Stevens and Appellate Justice Lawrence H. Cooke for the Court of Appeals; and Mayor of Syracuse Lee Alexander for the U.S. Senate.[4] The primary election was held on September 10.[5] All the challenged party's designees were defeated, only the unopposed Comptroller Levitt and one of the judges got on the ballot.

1974 Democratic primary results
Office Party designees Challengers
Governor Howard J. Samuels 380,326 Hugh L. Carey 582,406
Lieutenant Governor Mario M. Cuomo 284,821 Mary Anne Krupsak 390,123 Antonio G. Olivieri 218,583
Comptroller Arthur Levitt (unopposed)
Attorney General Robert R. Meehan[6] 264,681 Robert Abrams 515,642
Judge of the Court of Appeals Lawrence H. Cooke
Judge of the Court of Appeals Harold A. Stevens Jacob D. Fuchsberg
U.S. Senator Lee Alexander 255,250 Ramsey Clark 414,327 Abraham Hirschfeld 194,076

Other parties with ballot line

The Republican State Committee met on June 12 at the Nassau Coliseum, and designated the incumbents Wilson, Lefkowitz, Rabin, Stevens and Javits for re-election; and completed the ticket with Nassau County Executive Ralph G. Caso for Lieutenant Governor; and Ex-Mayor of Rochester Stephen May for Comptroller.[7] On June 28, Rabin declined to run because he was already 69, just one year short of the constitutional age limit,[8] and on July 22, Appellate Justice Louis M. Greenblott, of Binghamton, was designated instead.[9]

The Conservative State Committee met on June 15, and designated the incumbent Republican Governor Wilson for re-election. T. David Bullard polled enough votes to force a primary election, but withdrew on June 29.[10] They also designated Republican Ralph G. Caso for Lieutenant Governor; Bradley J. Hurd (b. ca. 1902), "lumber dealer," of Buffalo, for Comptroller; Edward F. Campbell (b. ca. 1920), of Huntington, for Attorney General; the incumbent Democrat Harold A. Stevens, and Manhattan lawyer Henry S. Middendorf, Jr., for the Court of Appeals; and Barbara A. Keating, of Larchmont, for the U.S. Senate.[11]

The Liberal State Committee met on June 15, and designated Ex-Deputy Mayor of New York Edward A. Morrison for Governor; and Raymond B. Harding, of The Bronx, for Lieutenant Governor; with the understanding that both would step aside in favor of the winners of the Democratic primary to be held in September. They also endorsed the incumbents Levitt (Dem.), Lefkowitz (Rep.), Stevens (Dem.) and Javits (Rep.) for re-election.[12] On September 14, Morrison and Harding withdrew, and the State Committee endorsed the Democratic nominees Hugh L. Carey for Governor; and Mary Anne Krupsak for Lieutenant Governor. Morrison and Harding were nominated to run for the New York Supreme Court.[13]

The Republican, Liberal and Conservative tickets designated by the state committees were not challenged in primaries.

Minor parties

Six minor parties filed petitions to nominate candidates and appeared on the ballot.[14]

The "Courage Party," the New York state branch of the American Party, nominated Dr. Wayne S. Amato (b. ca. 1941), Ph.D. in chemical engineering, assistant professor at Syracuse University, for Governor; Charles R. Schanger, of Redford, for Lieutenant Governor; and Dr. William F. Dowling, Jr., dentist, of Garden City, for the U.S. Senate.[15]

The Free Libertarian Party nominated Jerry Tuccille, of Tarrytown, for Governor; Louis J. Sicilia, of Manhattan, for Lieutenant Governor; Robert S. Flanzer, of Brooklyn, for Comptroller; Leland W. Schubert, of Manhattan, for Attorney General; Melvin J. Hirshowitz and Jack A. Martin, both of Manhattan, for the Court of Appeals; and Percy L. Greaves, Jr., for the U.S. Senate.[16]

The Socialist Workers Party nominated Derrick Morrison (b. 1946), of Manhattan, a writer for The Militant, for Governor. Morrison was actually ineligible for the office which requires a minimum age of 30. They also nominated James Mendietta, of Brooklyn, for Lieutenant Governor; Sam Manuel for Comptroller; Raymond Markey (b. ca. 1940), librarian, for Attorney General; and Rebecca Finch (b. ca. 1944) for the U.S. Senate.[17]

The Communist Party nominated Jose A. Ristorrucci (b. ca. 1943 in Puerto Rico) for Governor; Carol Twigg, of Buffalo, for Lieutenant Governor; Daniel Spector, of Brooklyn, for Comptroller; Michael Zagarell for Attorney General; and Mildred Edelman, of Manhattan, for the U.S. Senate.

The Socialist Labor Party nominated John Emanuel for Governor; and Robert E. Massi (b. ca. 1944), lawyer, of Brooklyn, for the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Labor Party nominated Anton Chaitkin for Governor; Victoria Staton for Lieutenant Governor; Leif O. Johnson, of Manhattan, for Comptroller; Raymond M. Martino, of Goshen, for Attorney General; and Elijah C. Boyd, Jr. (b. ca. 1944), of manhattan, for the U.S. Senate.


The incumbents Levitt, Lefkowitz and Javits were re-elected. The incumbents Wilson and Stevens were defeated.

1974 state election results
Office Democratic ticket Republican ticket Conservative ticket Liberal ticket Courage ticket Free Libertarian ticket Socialist Workers ticket Communist ticket Socialist Labor ticket Labor ticket
Governor Hugh L. Carey 3,028,503 Malcolm Wilson 2,219,667 Malcolm Wilson Hugh L. Carey Wayne S. Amato 12,459 Jerry Tuccille 10,503 Derrick Morrison 8,857 Jose A. Ristorrucci 5,232 John Emanuel[18] 4,574 Anton H. Chaitkin 3,151
Lieutenant Governor Mary Anne Krupsak Ralph G. Caso Ralph G. Caso Mary Anne Krupsak Charles R. Schanger Louis J. Sicilia James Mendietta Carol Twigg (none) Victoria Staton
Comptroller Arthur Levitt 3,300,140 Stephen May 1,288,538 Bradley J. Hurd 244,701 Arthur Levitt Robert S. Flanzer 10,535 Sam Manuel 14,504 Daniel Spector 8,085 (none) Leif O. Johnson 7,691
Attorney General Robert Abrams 2,189,654 Louis J. Lefkowitz 2,624,637 Edward F. Campbell 232,631 Louis J. Lefkowitz Leland W. Schubert 8,092 Raymond H. Markey 12,283 Michael Zagarell[19] 6,424 (none) Raymond M. Martino 10,161
Judge of the Court of Appeals Lawrence H. Cooke Louis M. Greenblott Henry S. Middendorf, Jr.[20] Lawrence H. Cooke Melvin J. Hirshowitz (none)
Judge of the Court of Appeals Jacob D. Fuchsberg Harold A. Stevens Harold A. Stevens Harold A. Stevens Jack A. Martin (none)
U.S. Senator Ramsey Clark 1,973,781 Jacob K. Javits 2,340,188 Barbara A. Keating 822,584 Jacob K. Javits William F. Dowling, Jr. 7,459 Percy L. Greaves, Jr. Rebecca Finch 7,727 Mildred Edelman 3,876 Robert E. Massi 4,037 Elijah C. Boyd, Jr. 3,798


  • The number is total of votes on Democratic and Liberal tickets for Carey/Krupsak, total of votes on Republican and Conservative tickets for Wilson/Caso, and total of votes on Republican and Liberal tickets for Javits.
  • The vote for Governor is used to define ballot access, for automatic access are necessary 50,000 votes.


This was the last time judges of the Court of Appeals were elected by popular ballot. After the election of Jacob D. Fuchsberg, who had entered the Democratic primary by petition, gathering signatures, the political and legal establishment thought that the filling of vacancies on the State's highest court could not be entrusted to the electorate anymore. Traditionally, the nominees had been selected by the party leaders, and ratified by the state conventions, from among the most experienced and respected judges of lower courts, with occasional intrusions of well-respected politicians who were lawyers, like Kenneth Keating. Even the New York City Bar Association had urged the defeat of Fuchsberg,[21] a trial lawyer without any experience on the bench, who campaigned vigorously and spent much money on his campaign. Traditionally, the nominees for the Court of Appeals did not campaign at all, and just accompanied the remainder of the ticket, most of the nominees having bi-partisan backing during the last 60 years. The impression arose that any shyster or ambulance chaser could get on the Court of Appeals, if he was an enrolled party member and gathered signatures to get into the primary by petition, and then spent a lot of money to make his name known to the voters. Thus in 1977, the State Constitution was amended, and since 1978 vacancies on the Court of Appeals have been filled by appointment: a judicial selection panel submits names to the Governor who nominates one from the list for confirm ation by the New York State Senate.


  1. ^ Stevens and Rabin Named To State's Highest Court in NYT on January 1, 1974 (subscription required)
  2. ^ STATE DEMOCRATS SELECT SAMUELS FOR TOP OF SLATE; Carey Faces Him in Primary; Governor Designee Gets 68% of Committee Vote in NYT on June 14, 1974 (subscription required)
  3. ^ DEMOCRATS NAME CUOMO TO 2D SPOT; But He Faces 2 in Primary; Meehan Upsets Abrams for Attorney General in NYT on June 15, 1974 (subscription required)
  4. ^ STATE DEMOCRATS PICK ALEXANDER FOR SENATE RACE; Primary Is Possible in NYT on June 16, 1974 (subscription required)
  5. ^ VOTERS TO CHOOSE CANDIDATES TODAY IN STATE PRIMARY; Judgeships at Stake; ...Democratic Nominees to Be Selected for Governorship, Senate, Attorney General; ...No Statewide Posts at Stake Among 3 Other Parties in NYT on September 10, 1974 (subscription required)
  6. ^ Robert R. Meehan, D.A. of Rockland County, ran also in the 1970 primary
  7. ^ Wilson Accepts, Calling G.O.P. 'Vibrant'; The Nominees in NYT on June 13, 1974 (subscription required)
  8. ^ Rabin Drops Out of Appeals Court Race in NYT on June 29, 1974 (subscription required)
  9. ^ Republicans Pick Binghamton Judge To Run for Court of Appeals Bench in NYT on July 23, 1974 (subscription required)
  10. ^ BULLARD LEAVES GOVERNOR RACE; Conservative's Act Assures 2-Party Backing for Wilson in NYT on June 29, 1974 (subscription required)
  11. ^ Outcome of Four Conventions For Statewide Spots on Ballot; Senator in NYT on June 16, 1974 (subscription required)
  12. ^ Liberals Nominate Morrison, Ex-Lindsay Aide, for Governor; Incumbents Endorsed in NYT on June 16, 1974 (subscription required)
  13. ^ ROSE SAYS RIVALS WERE 'WIPED OUT; Liberal Party Leader Calls Queens Opposition at End in NYT on September 15, 1974 (subscription required)
  14. ^ State Candidates of 10 Parties Win Places on Election Ballot in NYT on October 8, 1974
  15. ^ Six Minor Parties Offer Candidates in State Races; Their Pleas Range From Centralization to Decentralization-They Hope for Enough Votes to Get on Next Ballot in NYT on October 28, 1974 (subscription required)
  16. ^ Free Libertarian Slate Given in NYT on April 8, 1974 (subscription required)
  17. ^ Slate of Socialist Workers For State Election Listed in NYT on January 31, 1974 (subscription required)
  18. ^ John Emanuel (b. ca. 1908 in Greece), "fur worker," ran also for Comptroller in 1954 and 1966; for Lieutenant Governor in 1958 and 1962; and for the U.S. Senate in 1964, 1968 and 1970
  19. ^ Michael Zagarell (b. 1944), of Brooklyn, also ran for U.S. Vice President in 1968 with Charlene Mitchell, although he was ineligible for the office which requires a minimum age of 35
  20. ^ Henry Stump Middendorf, Jr. (1923-2000), lawyer, of Manhattan, Harvard graduate, ran also in 1965, H.S. Middendorf Jr., 77, Manhattan Lawyer Obit in NYT on March 14, 2000
  21. ^ City Bar Unit, in Rare Act, Urges Fuchsberg's Defeat in NYT on October 25, 1974 (subscription required)


See also