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New York City mayoral election, 1965

New York City mayoral election, 1965

November 2, 1965

Candidate John Lindsay Abraham Beame William F. Buckley, Jr.
Party Republican Democratic Conservative
Alliance Liberal Civil Service -
Popular vote 1,149,106 1,046,699 341,226
Percentage 44.99% 40.98% 13.36%

Results by Borough

Mayor before election

Robert F. Wagner, Jr.

Elected Mayor

John Lindsay

The New York City mayoral election of 1965 occurred on Tuesday, November 2, 1965, with Republican Congressman John Lindsay winning a close plurality victory over the Democratic candidate, New York City Comptroller Abraham Beame.

Lindsay received 44.99% of the vote to Beame's 40.98%, a victory margin of 4.01%.[1]

Finishing in a distant third was the candidate of the recently formed Conservative Party, conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., who received 13.36% of the vote.

Lindsay, a liberal Republican, also was the nominee of the Liberal Party.

Beame also received the Civil Service ballot line.

Lindsay won a decisive majority in Manhattan, while winning comfortable plurality victories in Queens and Staten Island. Beame won pluralities in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Linsday would be sworn in to office in January 1966, replacing outgoing Democratic Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr..


  • Results 1
  • References 2
  • Further reading 3
    • Primary sources 3.1


1965 General Election party Manhattan The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Richmond [Staten Is.] Total %
John V. Lindsay Republican - Liberal - Independent Citizens 291,326 181,072 308,398 331,162 37,148 1,149,106 45.0%
55.8% 39.5% 40.0% 47.1% 45.8%
Abraham Beame Democratic - Civil Service Fusion 193,230 213,980 365,360 250,662 23,467 1,046,699 41.0%
37.0% 46.6% 47.4% 35.6% 28.9%
William F. Buckley, Jr. Conservative 37,694 63,858 97,679 121,544 20,451 341,226 13.4%
7.2% 13.9% 12.7% 17.3% 25.2%
522,250 458,910 771,437 703,368 81,066 2,537,031 99.4%
others   17,168 0.6%

Almost a quarter of Lindsay's vote (281,796) was on the Liberal Party line, while 63,590 of Beame's votes were on the Civil Service Fusion line. John Lindsay, a Republican Congressman from the "Silk-Stocking" District on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, carried Manhattan, Queens, and traditionally Republican Staten Island (Richmond), while Abe Beame, the City Comptroller, carried The Bronx and his home borough of Brooklyn, both of which he had also won in the Democratic primary. However, while Beame had also carried Queens in the primary, he lost it to Lindsay in the general election.[2] (Five years later, Bill Buckley's brother James L. Buckley would win the 1970 New York state election for U.S. Senator on the Conservative Party line against divided opposition.) The Other vote was 11,104- Vito Battista - United Taxpayer Party; 3,977- Clifton DeBerry - Socialist Workers; 2,087 - Eric Haas - Socialist Labor

1965 Democratic primary
Manhattan The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Staten Island Total
Abraham D. Beame 53,386 66,064 128,146 82,601 6,148 336,345
Paul R. Screvane 66,444 54,260 79,485 63,680 7,512 271,381
William F. Ryan 48,744 16,632 24,588 22,570 1,204 113,738
Paul O'Dwyer 6,771 5,976 8,332 6,895 697 28,675


  1. ^ "New York City Mayoral Election 1965". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Page 41 of the 1966 World Almanac & Book of Facts and page 69 of Cannato's The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York

Further reading

  • Bridges, Linda, and John R. Coyne Jr. Strictly right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American conservative movement (2007)
  • Cannato, Vincent, J. The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York (2001) pp 19-74 excerpt
  • Carter, Barbara. The Road to City Hall: How John V. Lindsay Became Mayor (1967)
  • Taffet, Jeffrey F. "The Snubs and the'Sukkah': John Lindsay and Jewish Voters in New York City." American Jewish History 97.4 (2013): 413-438. online
  • Viteritti, Joseph P., ed. Summer in the City: John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream (Johns Hopkins U Press, 2014)

Primary sources

  • Buckley Jr, William F. The unmaking of a mayor (1966)
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