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The Early Career of Mayor Frank Hague

Chapter 3- Hague Fights the County Machine
Part 5

By Mark S. Foster

Copyright 1967

Web version, edited by GET NJ.
Copyright 2002

Despite the many charges against him, Hague and his running mate, John Prout were both swept into office by over 7,000 votes in the general election. That the Red Dugan scandal hurt Hague appears certain. Wittpenn, untouched by scandal, snowed under his Republican opponent by 13,000 votes.13 Nevertheless, Hague had won. He was popular and he had worked very hard. In light of this recent scandal, Hague's imminent reform appears all the more striking. While his seemingly progressive utterances probably won him few votes, friends and enemies alike were soon amazed at his new attitude toward his responsibility to the Street and Water Board. In slightly over a year, the Progressive Republicans of the Seventh ward endorsed him as a candidate for commissioner. This was the same organization that had recently sided with Record. Had a leopard changed its spots overnight? Was Hague's victory speech the day after his election a real indication of a "new" Frank Hague?

I promise to make good to the people of this city, if they would give me the opportunity to make good, and I intend to do so. I want every man in the city to keep his eye on me and note what I do. I particularly ask this of the citizens who do not know me and to whom I have been maligned by my enemies.14

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