Last week in the Reader’s Column, someone wondered if Trump could run for President from prison. This is possible and does have historical precedent. The man who accomplished this was Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926). He was a founding member of the Socialist Party of America and ran five times as their candidate, the last time from a prison cell.
The first time Debs got jail time was for defying an order by President Grover Cleveland to end a rail strike in 1894. This was called the Pullman Strike. Debs was a leader of the American Railway Union, which supported this strike for which he spent six months in jail.
The second time Debs was convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 for speaking out against America’s participation in WWI. Although he was given a ten-year sentence, as the Socialist candidate for President in 1920 he received 3.4% of the vote. President Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921.
Women received the right to vote in New York State in 1917. When it came time to register for a party in 1918, in order to vote in primaries, there were 67 in Tioga County who were registered with the socialist party (60 men and seven women). — Owego Gazette. June 27, 1918.
Newark Valley, N.Y.