As had been predicted by Mr. Goar, Hon. L.Q.C. Lamar was nominated by the Democrats for Congress in the first district, which was the Democratic district. The Republicans nominated against him a very strong and able man, the Hon. R.W. Flournoy, who had served with Mr. Lamar as a member of the Secession Convention of 1861. He made an aggressive and brilliant canvass of the district, but the election of Mr. Lamar was a foregone conclusion, since the Democratic majority in the district was very large.
Fusion of democrats and republicans in the state election of 1873. Republican victory
An important election was to be held in Mississippi in 1873, at which State, district, and county officers, as well as members of the Legislature, were to be elected. The tenure of office for the State and county officers was four years. 1873, therefore, was the year in which the successors of those that had held office since 1869 had to be elected.
The legislature to be elected that year would elect the successor of Senator Ames as United States Senator. Senator Ames was the candidate named to succeed himself. For some unaccountable reason there had been a falling out between Senator Alcorn and himself, for which reason Senator Alcorn decided to use his influence to prevent the reelection of Senator Ames. This meant that there would be a bitter factional fight in the party, because both Senators were popular with the rank and file of the party.
The fact was soon developed, however, that the people favored the return of Senator Ames to the Senate. This did not necessarily mean opposition or unfriendliness to Senator Alcorn. It simply meant that both were to be treated fairly and justly, and that each was to stand upon his own record and merits, regardless of their personal differences.
If Senator Alcorn had been in Senator Ames’ place the probabilities are that the sentiment of the party would have been just as strongly in his favor as it was at that time in favor of Ames. But on this occasion Senator Alcorn made the mistake of making opposition to Senator Ames the test of loyalty to himself. In this he was not supported even by many of his warmest personal and political friends. In consequence of the bitter fight that was to be made by Senator Alcorn to prevent the return of Senator Ames to the Senate, many of Senator Ames’ friends advised him to become a candidate for the office of Governor. In that way, it was believed, he could command the situation, and thus make sure his election to succeed himself as Senator; otherwise it might be doubtful.