Several people wanted the position. He wasn’t well known beyond where he had lived, ran a small store, served as postmaster, and practiced law. His education was meager. He paid his bills and supported his family, but he was not a man of means, by any means. Those who opposed him were better known, had broader bases of support, and had either inherited well and/or done well for themselves.
He had to first be selected as a candidate, then he had to be elected to the office. He started with a small base of local support. He had friends, a growing number of them in fact, and they were loyal. There was something about him that attracted people. By his own admission, he wasn’t much to look at, he was gawky, his clothes were often ill fitted to his substantial height, and his voice was rather high pitched, particularly when speaking to a crowd.