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Ransom Burnell


Date Party Office Votes Result
11-06-1860 Douglas Democratic AD-19 0 Win
09-04-1861 Union Democratic SD-14 0 Win
09-03-1862 Union SD-14 0 Win
09-02-1863 Union SD-14 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: 1821 in Sinclaireville, New York
Died: February 13, 1880 in Napa, CA

1861: Speaker, California State Assembly*
1864: President pro Tempore, California State Senate

  • NOTABLE HISTORY: One of only three people to ever serve as the leader of both houses of the Legislature. The others were James T. Farley and Toni G. Atkins.
  • SPEAKERSHIP BATTLE: In a fight that made the 1995 'Speakership Fight' look mild, it took the 1861 Assembly ten days and 109 ballots to elect a Speaker. Burnell was a compromise candidate who wasn't on the ballot until the very last ballots.
  • Some biographies list his birthplace as Ellicott, which is a larger city eight miles south of Sinclaireville.

Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)