Did Mattie defeat her husband in the 1896 senatorial election?

Yes and no. It is true that she was elected and he was not. However, they each ran in a field of six candidates; Angus, one of six Republicans and Mattie, one of six Democrats. Theoretically, they each might have been elected or both might have lost. The entire Democratic ticket was elected (Mattie had the fewest votes among the Democrats, but still had more votes than any Republican who was running), largely on the basis of “free silver,” espoused by William Jennings Bryant, which was the issue that also catapulted some politicians running for election in the western states into office. Nationally, “sound money” or gold was more popular, culminating in the election of William McKinley (Republican) as president in 1897.

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