Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carl H. Francis Matchbook

This fall I had the great luck of visiting a sale at an estate and purchased the only political item I could find. It was a Carl H. Francis matchbook. It is one of the few items I have for Oregon legislative candidates prior to 1960. Francis was first elected in 1942, and this matchbook could be from any election between 1942 and 1954. In 1956 Francis was elected to the State Senate and served at least 1960. He represented Dayton and surrounding areas of Yamhill County while in the legislature.

In 1960 he sought the 1960 Republican nomination for Attorney General. He ran against Merlin Estep in the primary. I have yet to see any items from this race. Francis bested Estep by a wide margin. He would go on to face incumbent Attorney General, Democrat Robert Thornton. In November, Francis was defeated by Thornton by nearly 30,000 votes.

Thornton bucked the trend of most statewide Democrats losing in 1960. The only other Democrat to win statewide was Maurine Neuberger. In his later years, Francis would contribute stories on the local history of Dayton and Yamhill county in the Dayton Tribune

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