Today in Texas History – September 16

From the Annals of the Democratic Party – In 1922, the “Independent Democrats” met in Dallas to select Houston attorney George Peddy as a candidate for the United States Senate. The Independent Democrats were a splinter group from in opposition to the effective takeover of the party by the Ku Klux Klan.  The Democratic Party had nominated KKK candidate Earle Bradford Mayfield for senator in the primary.  Even worse, at the state Democratic convention in San Antonio it appeared to many that the Ku Klux Klan had gained control of the party.  This caused the anti-Klan Democrats to seek a candidate to oppose Mayfield in the general election. Peddy had campaigned for James E. Ferguson as the anti-Klan candidate in the primaries.  Unfortunately, Mayfield and the Klan forces succeeded in keeping Peddy’s name off the ballot.  Peddy ran a write-in campaign and captured one third of the vote.  Challenges to Mayfield’s qualifications to serve led to a Senate investigation and delayed his ascension to the Senate.  He was, however, seated in the Senate in December of 1923.

Photo of George Petty from the Legislative Reference Library.

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