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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. 1918, div. 1920), Florence Gruber (m. 1921, div. 1944), Linnie G. Wymore (m. 1946)
Children: Virginia Woodward and Leila Donagan
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)
1952: Christian National Party candidate for Vice President (on the ticket with Douglas MacArthur)
1956: Candidate for Los Angeles Municipal Court (Lost; 25%)
1962: Primary Candidate for CD-38 (Lost)

  • PUBLISHED: Author of Red Fascism (1947), The Tenney Committee... The American Record (1952), Zionist Network (1953), and Cry Brotherhood (1965).
  • His daughter Leila served as a member of the Monterey Park City Council (1954-1962) and as Mayor in 1960-1961. Source: Monterey Park Elected Officials (
  • 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 AJR2x1 (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 AB4x1 (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".
  • LEGISLATION: Author of SB319 (Chapt. 538, Stats of 1951), which prohibits the teaching of communism on public school property.
  • Supreme Court Decision: In March 1949, William Brandhove sued the Senate Factfinding Committee on UnAmerican Activities (chaired by Tenney) over the damage done to his reputation as a result of his being called to testify before the committee in 1947. 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
Source: "Once-Controversial Senator. Jack B. Tenney, Dies at 72" San Bernardino Sun, 6 November 1970