Thomas W. Wallace

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Thomas W. Wallace (born January 24, 1900 , † July 17, 1943 in Schenectady , New York ) was an American lawyer and politician ( Republican Party ).


Thomas W. Wallace worked as a management consultant in Schenectady. Then he was a District Attorney for Schenectady County . He was then elected to the New York Senate. During this time he ran unsuccessfully in 1942 for the Republican nomination for the New York Attorney General , was instead nominated for the office of lieutenant governor . He defeated the Democratic incumbent Charles Poletti , who would have succeeded Governor Dewey if he had won the 1944 presidential election . Wallace took office on January 1, 1943. In July of the same year he contracted chickenpox , which he contracted from his two children. Two days later he suffered from pneumonia , so he was taken to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, where he was placed in an oxygen tent. His health deteriorated noticeably, and he passed away the following week. He was buried in the Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Niskayuna (New York).

Political Consequences

With the death of Thomas W. Wallace, the question was raised whether the revised state constitution , which was passed in 1938, required a by-election to fill the vacancy . The New York Court of Appeals ruled it ( affirmative action ), which led to harsh criticism from Governor Dewey. A 1937 Amendment to the State Constitution increased the term of office of MPs in the New York State Assembly to two years. The senators were elected for a two-year term in every even year starting in 1898. The amendment meant that there was no parliamentary election in any odd-numbered year . Despite Dewey's objections, a nationwide by-election was held in November 1943. On his recommendation, the legislature passed a constitutional amendment, which was approved by the electorate, banning all elections for the office of lieutenant governor, except for the election of the governor of New York.


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