Bob Priddy for Missourinet

President Trump’s back and forth on a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election might remind historians of a time when Missouri Democrats took the same approach.

Democrats had a stranglehold on state offices and on the legislature in 1940 when Forrest Donnell was the only Republican elected to statewide office.  In those days, the Missouri Speaker of the House was the official who proclaimed the official winners of statewide elections and Speaker Morris Osburn refused to certify Donnell’s election.

The loser, Democrat Larry McDaniel, and state Democratic Party Chairman C. Marion Hulen claimed voting irregularities made McDaniel a winner by 30-thousand votes, not the 36-hundred margin that made Donnell governor.

The Missouri Supreme Court ordered Donnell to be sworn in, six weeks late, and to serve until a recount showed he had lost.

The recount became a disaster for McDaniel, who withdrew his challenge without consulting Democratic leaders who had urged him to fight.

Donnell became the last Republican governor until Christopher Bond was elected 32 years later.

Bob Priddy has been writing a history of the Missouri Capitol, to be published by The University of Missouri Press