Pennsylvania politicals

                                              Preserving Pennsylvania's Political Past and Present

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November 6, 1962

William W. Scranton: 55.4%

Richardson Dilworth: 44.3%


The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1962 was held on November 6. Republican Bill Scranton and Democrat Richardson Dilworth, each a member of a powerful political family, faced off in a bitter campaign.

On Election Day, Scranton took 62 of the state's 67 counties in an impressive win. Dilworth struggled not only in GOP strongholds, but also in the heavily Democratic Pittsburgh area, where he was plagued by both the corruption charges and anti-Philadelphian sentiment. His loss was especially heavy in Philadelphia's suburban counties, both because of his involvement in a controversial failed redistricting plan designed to divide upper class GOP support, as well as because of his antagonistic attitude toward suburbanites.

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Dilworth's $40 Parking Permit: Dilworth's second term continued to have its share of political fireworks. In an effort to solve the problem of inadequate parking facilities in South Philadelphia, he proposed issuing parking permits for which car owners would have to pay $40 annually. This resulted in a tumultuous public meeting in 1961 at which the mayor was pelted with rocks, fruit, and vegetables. Dilworth escaped injury, but his parking permit proposal died a swift death. In a somewhat related incident, Dilworth made off-the-cuff comments, which the press reported as anti-Italian slurs. This put Dilworth even farther at odds with South Philly. Conscious of the faux pas, he was quick to appoint an Italian-American, career police officer from South Philadelphia as the next Police Commissioner. That career police officer was none other than Frank Rizzo..

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