Harold Stassen defeated Farmer-Labor governor Elmer Benson in 1938, and was elected twice more. He served as governor from 1939-1942. He resigned immediately upon taking office in 1943 to join the United States Navy.
He ran as a liberal Republican, but his 1938 election was in part indebted to the anticommunist and antisemitic whisper campaign created by Ray P. Chase, whose Are They Communists or Catspaws: A Redbaiting Pamphlet accused Benson of being a communist supported by an inner circle of Jews and communists.
Stassen was slow to disavow Chase, and instead insisted in an advertisement in the American Jewish World that he rejected prejudice as a liberal.
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