Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1970

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1970
November 3, 1970 (1970-11-03)

Candidate Milton Shapp Ray Broderick
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Ernie Kline Ralph Scalera
Popular vote 2,043,029 1,542,854
Percentage 55.22% 41.7%

County results

Governor before election

Raymond Shafer

Elected Governor

Milton Shapp

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1970 was held on November 3. Democrat Milton Shapp challenged incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Ray Broderick.

Primary elections

Lieutenant Governor Broderick was unopposed for the Republican noination. The Democratic campaign began with a bruising campaign in which Milton Shapp, electronics executive, defeated Auditor General and former State Senator Bob Casey for the second year in a row. As in the prior election, Schapp and Casey proved to be disparate personalities. The liberal and business-oriented Schapp ran an aggressive campaign into which he injected much of his own funding, while the affable Casey ran a relatively conservative campaign and appealed to labor and rural voters.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial Democratic primary election, 1970[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Milton Shapp 519,161 49.15
Democratic Bob Casey 480,944 45.53
Democratic Harvey Johnston 33,427 3.17
Democratic Sam Neff 8,957 0.85
Democratic Walter Tray 8,252 0.78
Democratic Ed Lavalle 5,557 0.53

Major party candidates




Although Pennsylvania's Democratic establishment had not been keen on Shapp during his first run for the executive office, the support of Lieutenant Gubernatorial nominee Ernie Kline, a power broker within the party, caused support to much better coalesce behind Shapp than it had in 1966. Shapp, who is Jewish, also dealt with a lower degree of anti-Semitism during this campaign, as moderate voters were put off by the hateful messages that had been transmitted during the prior election cycle. Broderick's campaign faced an uphill battle, as he was forced to deal with the unpopularity of his boss, Governor Ray Shafer. Furthermore, Broderick was portrayed as unrealistic in his promises, as he asserted that he would not raise taxes, despite a massive state deficit. Broderick attempted to present himself as an ally of Richard Nixon and ran on a corresponding law-and-order platform; however, his tough stances often backfired, such as when outrage ensued over a Republican cartoon that depicted Shapp's liberal view as equivalent to the Viet Cong.[2]

Shapp won victory by a huge margin. His liberalism and local base allowed him to nearly win the suburbs of Philadelphia, a GOP stronghold at the time. Furthermore, he not only performed well in conservative Central Pennsylvania, but even defeated Broderick by a considerable margin in those locales.[2]


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1970[3][4]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage
Democratic Milton Shapp Ernie Kline 2,043,029 55.21%
Republican Ray Broderick Ralph Scalera 1,542,854 41.69%
Constitutional A.J. Watson Joe Brewer 83,406 2.25%
American Independent Francis McGeever Conrad Moore 21,647 0.58%
Socialist Workers George Taylor Paul Barnes 3,588 <0.01%


  2. 1 2 Kennedy, John J. (2006). Pennsylvania Elections: Statewide Contests From 1950-2004. University Press of America. ISBN 9780761832799.
  3. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 626.
  4. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 625.
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