Pinback button promoting Allan Benson for president and George Kirkpatrick for vice president, 1916. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
With Debs declining to run due to poor health, the Socialist Party nominated Allan Benson of Michigan. A journalist by profession, Benson had known hardship in early life when his father's mill burned and he was forced to drop out of high school. Despite his lack of formal education, he had risen from beat reporter to managing editor of several newspapers, including the Detroit Journal and Washington Times. Anti-militarist and writer George Kirkpatrick of Ohio was chosen to round out the ticket, which received over half a million votes.