Honest John

In 1889 when it wasn’t always popular to run for public office, it is said that the Republican machine paid two dollars per vote. John F. Shafroth, watched as Wolfe Londoner won thanks to some extremely dirty politics. Londoner was subsequently removed from office near the end of his term following a trial that uncovered gross voting abuses. Seeing this made the then city attorney, decide to run for congress. Winning a seat in the 54th Congress, he then went on to split from the Republican party to join the Silver Republican Party, and on their ticket went on to serve 3 more congresses. “Honest John” as he would come to be known, stepped down when he declared that his opponent had actually been elected to the 58th Congress. And by then, he had joined the Democratic party. In 1908 he was elected Governor of Colorado and set about reforming Colorado’s campaign financing, coal mine safety and direct election of U.S. Senators. Read about his fight and eventual successes in Honest John Shafroth A Colorado Reformer available at the Colorado State Publications Library.

Latest posts by State Publications Library Staff (see all)