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Floyd M. Riddick Discusses a Contested Senate Election


Floyd M. Riddick

The 1974 New Hampshire race for an open seat pitted Republican Louis Wyman against Democrat John Durkin. On November 5, 1974, Wyman won by just 355 votes. Durkin demanded a recount, which granted him a victory of only 10 votes. Wyman called for a second recount, which he won by just two votes. The Senate appointed a special staff panel to examine the contested election, but the panel was unsuccessful in resolving several issues. The two candidates agreed to a new election and on September 16, John Durkin won by a 27,000 vote margin.

Senate Parliamentarian Floyd Riddick was a member of the special staff panel appointed to examine the issues surrounding the contested election case. In 1978 he recounted the panel’s work in an oral history interview.

RIDDICK: This [disputed election] was brought to the Senate's attention early in the beginning of the 94th Congress. At the beginning of that session, Mr. Mansfield, on January 28, submitted the question to the Senate and by a vote of 58 to 34 Mansfield's motion was agreed to, to refer the subject matter to the Rules Committee. More. . .