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James W. Silliman


Picture of James W. Silliman
CA Blue Book
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-05-1946 Republican AD-33 19256 Win
11-02-1948 Republican AD-33 40721 Win
11-07-1950 Republican AD-33 29555 Win
11-04-1952 Republican AD-34 37560 Win
05-03-1955 Republican SD-25 12116 Loss

Candidate Biography:

James Willys Silliman
Born: August 12, 1905 near Castroville, CA
Married: Nevelle Hawkins
Children: Thomas, Floyd, and Karen
Died: October 21, 1976 in Salinas, CA

1953-1954: Speaker, California State Assembly
1954: Primary Candidate for Lieutenant Governor (Lost)
1956: Presidential Elector for California

  • Mount Silliman (elev. 11,188 ft) in Sequoia National Park is NOT named for the Assembly Speaker. The mountain was named after Professor Benjamin Silliman Jr. by a leader of Whitney Survey in 1864. 
  • It was Silliman who led a legislative modernization effort in 1951 which led to the adoption of the consent calendar in the Assembly (to facilitate the passage of unanimously-supported bills)
  • Silliman was a member of the 'Good Government Group', and was the Speaker who eventually was able to reduce the power of noted lobbyist Arthur "Artie" Samish.
  • Former Speaker Silliman lost the 1955 Senate special election to Fred Farr (father of Congressman Sam Farr), launching the Farr political dynasty that lasted until 2017.

Source: California Blue Book (1954)