Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1910

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1910
November 8, 1910 (1910-11-08)

Candidate John K. Tener William H. Berry
Party Republican Independent
Popular vote 415,614 382,127
Percentage 41.6% 38.3

Candidate Webster Grim John W. Slayton
Party Democratic Socialist
Popular vote 129,395 53,055
Percentage 13.0% 5.3%

County results key:
  John K. Tener
  William H. Berry
  Webster Grim

Governor before election

Edwin Sydney Stuart

Elected Governor

John K. Tener

The Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election of 1910 was held on November 8, 1910. The candidates were Republican John Tenner, Democrat Webster Grim, Keystone Party leader William Berry, and Socialist John W. Slayton.






The election was mired in scandal. The main focus was on the Pennsylvania state capitol building, which cost $13 million to build, of which $9 million went for furnishings. Although the state Republican machine remained powerful, its reputation was in shambles, as five insiders were arrested in connection with the capitol cost overruns. Boies Penrose, the U.S. Senator and Republican boss searched for a candidate with high name recognition but little political experience to improve the standing of his organization. Penrose chose Tenner, a famous 19th Century baseball player who had kept a low profile as a banker until running for Congress in 1909.

Democrats, meanwhile, tried to turn to Berry as their candidate, as they believed he had the perfect reform image due to being the catalyst in uncovering the scandal. Berry was initially opposed by attorney Cyrus Munson, a party boss, but after he withdrew due to health concerns, Penrose attempted to infiltrate the Democratic convention. His move resulted in the nomination of State Senator Grim from Doylestown, and reformers from both parties attempted to rally behind Berry, who ran under a third party banner.

Although Penrose viewed Tener as a pawn, he was a viable campaigner in his own right. Tener took much more progressive stances than Penrose had envisioned, supporting education expansion, greater public finance for road construction, and women's suffrage. Tener also ran on his wholesome image as an old time ballplayer in an era when gambling concerns overran the sport. While Tener was unable to gain a majority of the vote, he was able to defeat Berry, as Grim, who had the support of the party machinery, split enough of the progressive vote to lead to a Republican win.


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1910[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John K. Tener 412,658 41.33
Keystone William H. Berry 382,127 38.27%
Democratic Webster Grim 129,395 12.96
Socialist John W. Slayton 53,055 5.31
Prohibition Madison F. Larkin 17,445 1.75
Workingmen's League John K. Tener 2,956 0.30
Industrialist George Anton 802 0.08
N/A Other 10 0.00
Total votes 998,448 100.00


  1. Miller, Herman P; Baker, W. Harry, eds. (1911). Smull's Legislative Handbook and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania. pp. 543, 553.
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