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Governor grasps at federal straw to stay in office


On this day in 1874, Democrat Richard Coke was inaugurated as governor of Texas. Nevertheless, Republican governor Edmund J. Davis refused to vacate the office. Coke had overwhelmingly won the gubernatorial election in 1873. But the election was tainted by irregularities on both sides, and the state Supreme Court had voided the contest in Ex parte Rodriguez. Davis cited these facts and refused to budge. He even called in the Travis Rifles, but these troops supported Coke when they got into the Capitol. Davis then appealed for federal troops to President Grant, who telegraphed a refusal. Coke took over when Davis resigned on January 19.

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