1921 San Diego mayoral election

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1921 San Diego mayoral election
Flag of San Diego, California.svg
← 1919 April 5, 1921 (1921-04-05) 1923 →
  Mayor Bacon.jpg Mayor Wadham.jpg
Nominee John L. Bacon James E. Wadham
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 8,302 8,220
Percentage 50.2% 49.8%

Mayor before election

Louis J. Wilde

Elected Mayor

John L. Bacon

The 1921 San Diego mayoral election was held on April 5, 1921, to elect the mayor for San Diego. In the primary election, former mayor James E. Wadham and former City Councilmember John L. Bacon received the most votes and advanced to the runoff. Bacon was then elected mayor with a majority of the votes.



Incumbent Mayor Louis J. Wilde declined to stand for reelection, calling the position of mayor a thankless job.[1] The main three candidates to succeed Wilde were former mayor James E. Wadham, former City Councilmember John L. Bacon, and attorney Frank H. Heskett.[1]

On March 22, 1921, Wadham received the highest number of votes in the primary election, followed by Bacon, allowing both men to advance to the runoff. Heskett, who came in third and was therefore eliminated, actively supported Wadham for the runoff. On April 5, 1921, Bacon narrowly defeated Wadham by 82 votes out of 16,522. Wadham appealed to the superior court for a recount, but this did not change the outcome. Bacon therefore assumed the office of the mayor.[1]

Primary Election results[edit]

San Diego mayoral primary election, 1921[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James E. Wadham 5,040 36.9
Republican John L. Bacon 4,744 34.8
Nonpartisan Frank H. Heskett 2,214 16.2
Nonpartisan Lewis R. Kriby 896 6.6
Nonpartisan Charles A. Allen 351 2.6
Nonpartisan Ludwig s. Gerlough 310 2.3
Nonpartisan William I. Kinsley 55 0.5
Nonpartisan Alfred L. Lee 34 0.3
Total votes 13,644 100

General Election results[edit]

San Diego mayoral general election, 1921[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John L. Bacon 8,302 50.2
Democratic James E. Wadham 8,220 49.8
Total votes 16,522 100


  1. ^ a b c d e f McGrew, Clarence Alan (1922). City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California. American Historical Society. p. 232. Retrieved July 1, 2017. John L. Bacon Birthplace of California.
  2. ^ "Bacon, John L. (Assistant city manager, then M..." Library Digital Collections. UC San Diego. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Election History - Mayor of San Diego" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved April 15, 2017.