Wednesday, Jan. 07, 2009

Frank Smith

In 1926, after winning the Republican primary for one of Illinois' senate seats, Frank Smith was accused of accepting illegal contributions from the head of a public utility. Rather then step aside, however, he continued his campaign and won handily that November. A month later, incumbent Senator William McKinley died, leaving his seat vacant until March of the following year, when Smith's term was to start.

Meanwhile, however, a committee that had been set up to look into Smith's reported malfeasance took more than a year to investigate the matter, during which time Smith was blocked from the Senate floor by the Senate's sergeant at arms. Finally, in January 1928, the Senate voted against Smith taking the seat and he resigned.

Not to be dissuaded, Illinois Governor Len Small announced the seat vacant and once again named Smith to fill it. When Smith did not bite, the governor scheduled a special election that Smith entered almost immediately. He didn't make it past the primary.