New York state election, 1968

The 1968 New York state election was held on November 5, 1968, to elect a judge 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.


Judge Adrian P. Burke was elected in 1954, thus his fourteen-year term would expire at the end of the year.


This year primary elections were re-introduced in New York to nominate candidates for state offices. Primaries had been held in New York State from 1914 to 1920, then the State returned to nomination by state convention, but in New York City primaries continued to be held until today.

The primaries were held on June 18.

The Republican State Committee met on March 27 at Albany, New York and designated U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits, and endorsed the Democratic/Liberal Judge Adrian P. Burke, for re-election.[1]

The Democratic primary for U.S. Senator was won by Paul O'Dwyer, the brother of Mayor of New York William O'Dwyer (in office 1946–1950).[2] Paul O'Dwyer gathered 25,000 signatures, and got on the primary ballot by petition on a peace platform and favoring Eugene McCarthy to be nominated for President.[3] In a tight race, he defeated Nassau County Executive Eugene H. Nickerson, the candidate of the party bosses and supporter of Robert F. Kennedy for President, and Congressman Joseph Y. Resnick, the candidate who planned to back Lyndon B. Johnson for re-election.[4] The vote was O'Dwyer 275,877; Nickerson 257,639; and Resnick 229,803.[5]

The Liberal primary for U.S. Senator was won by the incumbent Republican Jacob K. Javits who defeated Murray Baron,[6] a former Liberal New York County Chairman.[7]

The Conservative State Committee met on April 2, and designated by acclamation James L. Buckley for the U.S. Senate, and endorsed the Democratic/Liberal Judge Adrian P. Burke for re-election.[8]

The Peace and Freedom Party nominated Herman B. Ferguson, a former elementary-school assistant principal, for the U.S. Senate. Ferguson had been convicted of conspiring to murder moderate civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young,[9] and his candidature was contested. On October 2, a New York Supreme Court justice ruled that Ferguson was entitled to run.[10]


The incumbents Burke and Javits were re-elected.

1968 state election result
Ticket / Office Judge of the Court of Appeals U.S. Senator
Republican Adrian P. Burke Jacob K. Javits 3,269,772
Democratic Adrian P. Burke Paul O'Dwyer 2,150,695
Liberal Adrian P. Burke Jacob K. Javits
Conservative Adrian P. Burke James L. Buckley 1,139,402
Peace and Freedom Herman B. Ferguson 8,775
Socialist Labor John Emanuel[11] 7,964
Socialist Workers Hedda Garza[12] 4,919

Note: Number is total of votes on both tickets for Javits.


  1. State G. O. P. Starts Move For Drafting Rockefeller in NYT on March 28, 1968 (subscription required)
  2. O'DWYER BEATS NICKERSON; A SENATE UPSET; Organization Is Dealt Setback; RESNICK CONCEDES IN EARLY MORNING in NYT on June 19, 1968 (subscription required)
  3. O'Dwyer's 25,000 Signatures Assure a 3-Way Primary Test in NYT on May 13, 1968 (subscription required)
  4. STATE DEMOCRATS NAME NICKERSON FOR SENATE RACE; Selection Here Is Regarded as a Victory by Kennedy in Bid for Nomination; PRIMARY FIGHT ASSURED Resnick, With 30 Per Cent of Vote, Plans to Run as a Johnson Backer in NYT on March 31, 1968 (subscription required)
  5. O'Dwyer Won by 18,238 in NYT on July 20, 1968 (subscription required)
  6. Murray Baron (1908–2002), lawyer, Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School graduate, President of Accuracy in Media from 1976, Murray Baron, 94, Labor Lawyer And Head of Accuracy in Media in NYT on September 26, 2002
  7. Liberal Party Nominates Javits For Senator in a Light Turnout in NYT on June 19, 1968 (subscription required)
  8. James Buckley Is Named to Run For the Senate by Conservatives in NYT on April 3, 1968 (subscription required)
  9. Ferguson and Harris Sentenced To 312 to 7 Years in Murder Plot in NYT on October 4, 1968 (subscription required)
  10. FERGUSON WINS PLACE ON BALLOT; State Court Upholds Right to Run for U.S. Senate in NYT on October 3, 1968 (subscription required)
  11. John Emanuel (born c. 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
  12. Hedda Garza (born c. 1930), "editorial worker," of Freeport


See also

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