The farther Madera moved beyond 1950, the more modern its politics became. Whereas through the 1920s and 1930s, local politics was rather tranquil, by the 1940s the races for government positions became considerably more contentious, and the candidates grew in number. A good example of this is the election of 1950.
At the climax of the most crowded and the most intensive city election campaign in Madera’s history, local voters rushed to the polls on Tuesday, April 11, 1950, to name three members to the City Council. With 11 candidates running, the race was something of a free-for-all.
Mayor John B. Gordon and Councilman J. Wesley Smith decided not to seek re-election, which left just one incumbent, Irvine Schnoor, running for another term. The challengers included Al Barsotti, George Brown, Rita Clark, Dr. G.G. Daggett, Beryl DeWitt, Julius Dominici, S.M. Hurst, F.E. Rodman, Garland Smalley, and Gail Stewart.
By Tuesday afternoon, it was apparent that this election was going to top all previous contests for positions in city government. When the polls closed at 7 p.m., an unprecedented 2,214 voters had cast their ballots! ...