1881 Philadelphia mayoral election

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Philadelphia mayoral election, 1881

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  Samuel George King.jpg William Stokley.jpg
Nominee Samuel G. King William S. Stokley
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 78,215 72,428
Percentage 51.87% 48.03%

Mayor before election

William S. Stokley

Elected Mayor

Samuel G. King

The Philadelphia mayoral election of 1881 saw Samuel G. King defeat three-term incumbent mayor William S. Stokley.[1]

This would be the last time until 1951 that a Democrat would win the mayoralty of Philadelphia.[1] It would also be the last time until 1911 that a Republican would fail to win the mayoralty.[1]

The Philadelphia Republican establishment had not accepted Stokley as one of their own and prominent reformist Republicans such as Rudolph Blankenburg opposed Stokley for corruption.[2]

After the influential Committee of One Hundred voted to endorse Stokley, Blankenburg and John Paul Verree resigned their memberships.[3] The Committee reversed itself and endorsed King in the election.[2]


1881 Philadelphia mayoral election[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Samuel G. King 78,215 51.87%
Republican William S. Stokley (incumbent) 72,428 48.03%
Greenback A.C. Baird 151 0.10%
Turnout 150,794


  1. ^ a b c d "Mayors of the City of Philadelphia 1691-2000". City of Philadelphia. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Silcox, Harry (1989). Philadelphia Politics from the Bottom Up: The Life of Irishman William McMullen, 1824-1901. p. 98.
  3. ^ McCaffery, Peter (2010-11-01). When Bosses Ruled Philadelphia: The Emergence of the Republican Machine, 1867-1933. p. 68.