March of the Governors: C. Elmer Anderson
Minnesota’s twenty-eighth governor, C. Elmer Anderson (1912-1998), mostly aspired to be lieutenant governor, and at that he succeeded—elected six times in seven tries. He rose to governor in September 1951 with the resignation of Luther Youngdahl. Anderson won the governorship on his own in 1952, riding the ample coattails of Dwight Eisenhower. In this role, he tried to carry out Youngdahl’s progressive policies, but the stars and the Minnesota senate were against him. He had beaten DFL candidate Orville Freeman handily in 1952; Freeman whipped him in their 1954 rematch, where Anderson’s lifelong motto, “silence is golden,” helped bring him down. He later served four years as mayor of Nisswa and ten years as mayor of his hometown, Brainerd.