Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1820

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1820
November 7, 1820 (1820-11-07)

Candidate Joseph Hiester William Findlay
Party Federalist Democratic-Republican
Popular vote 67,905 66,300
Percentage 50.59% 49.39%

County results*
  *Results unknown

Governor before election

William Findlay

Elected Governor

Joseph Hiester

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1820 occurred on November 7, 1820. Incumbent Democratic-Republican governor William Findlay sought re-election but was defeated U.S. Representative Joseph Hiester. Findlay entered the race with significantly reduced popularity. He had been renounced in the press as an opponent of democracy due to his nomination during the 1817 campaign by a group of party insiders. He additionally faced allegations of corruption over the misappropriation of funds during his tenure as State Treasurer, although all charges were dismissed during impeachment proceedings before the State Legislature. For this campaign, Findlay was chosen for a slot on the ballot at a popular convention of Democratic Republicans; Hesiter was selected at a separate convention of Federalists and "Old School Democrats" (i.e. allies of former governor Thomas McKean). The sour state of the economy was a key factor in the defeat of the incumbent, as Pennsylvania was reeling from the effects of the Panic of 1819.


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1820[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist Joseph Hiester 67,905 50.59
Democratic-Republican William Findlay 66,300 49.39
N/A Others 21 0.02
Total votes 134,226 100.00


  1. "PA Governor General Election". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 3 July 2012.

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