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Jack B. Tenney


Picture of Jack B. Tenney
CA Blue Book (1954)
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-03-1936 Democratic AD-46 22541 Win
11-08-1938 Democratic AD-46 23896 Win
11-05-1940 Democratic AD-46 39919 Win
11-03-1942 Democratic SD-38 679012 Win
11-05-1946 Republican SD-38 833565 Win
11-07-1950 Republican SD-38 1126157 Win

Candidate Biography:

John Breckinridge Tenney
Born: April 1, 1898 in St. Louis, Missouri
Married: Leda Westrem (m. 1919), Florence Gruber, Linnie G. Wymore (m. 1946)
Children: Leda and Leila
Military Service: ARMY (WWI)
Died: November 4, 1970 in Glendale, CA

1940: U.S. Presidential Elector
1941-1949: Chair, Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities in California
1944: Primary Candidate for US Senate (Lost)
1944: While serving in the State Senate, changed party affiliation mid-term from Democratic to Republican on September 24.
1949: Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles (Lost)

  • QUOTABLE: "Those who demand protection under the Constitution in good faith should be willing to support the entire Constitution, rather than pick out and support only the provisions of which they approve, and under which they claim privileges."
  • QUOTABLE: "Americanism means the protection of an unorganized majority from an organized minority as well as the protection of a helpless minority from an inconsiderate and thoughtless majority."
  • LEGISLATION: Author of ARJ1xx (1940), which memorialized Congress to enact the necessary legislation to purge the United States of Communism and all of the subversive influences and front organizations which are instigated, encouraged and fostered by it.
  • LEGISLATION: Author of AB1xxxx (1940), which effectively outlawed the Communist Party in California. The law, in part, stated "No party shall be recognized or qualified to participate in any primary election which uses or adopts as any part of its party designation the word "communist" or any derivative of the word "communist".
  • Supreme Court Decision: In May 1951, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state legislators enjoy common-law immunity from liability for their legislative acts, an immunity that is similar in origin and rationale to that accorded Congressmen under the Speech or Debate Clause. (Tenney v. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367)

Source: California Blue Book (1938), (1954)
Source: "Tenney Flips to GOP Side of Fence" (by AP), Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/26/1944