Main Menu | Hudson County Facts | Jersey City Stories | Jersey City Politics | New Jersey Mafia | E-mail This Page

The Early Career of Mayor Frank Hague

Chapter 6 - Hague’s Rise to the Mayoralty
Part 2

By Mark S. Foster

Copyright 1967

Web version, edited by GET NJ.
Copyright 2002

Hague clearly wooed Brensinger and Moore with increased intensity in the spring of 1917. Both Fagan and Byrne expressed great reluctance to run again for commissioner. However, it is significant that not only did Hague, Brensinger and Moore announce their decision to run only one month after the election in the fall of 1916, but they all made their announcements on the same day!6 The Jersey Journal also pointed out that Hague and Commission Counsel John Milton were often seen in Trenton lobbying for a bill which would allow bracketing of candidates in the commission election the following spring. Soon, talk about a “combine” of Hague, Brensinger and Moore for the election was commonplace. “For some weeks there have been rumors that Commissioners Hague, Brensinger and Moore would run for reelection bracketed.”7 Early in December, both the Republicans and the Wittpenn group were confident of victory, and so they allowed the “bracket bill” to pass. Later on they realized their mistake. Later the two groups made gestures toward forming a “fusion” ticket of six candidates, made up of three Republicans and three Wittpenn Democrats, but nothing came of it.8 If Wittpenn could not even get along with fellow Democrats, it was manifestly impossible that he would be able to cooperate with Republicans.

The commissioner election was not scheduled until May 8, but the organization of rival “tickets” began six months ahead of the election. Police Chief Monahan announced that he was going to run, as did the ex-Fire Chief. All told, forty-one candidates entered the race.

Once again, Wittpenn showed a fatal weakness in that his followers were not united in opposition to Hague’s slate. In the end, not only did Republicans and Wittpennites fail to form a fusion ticket, but the latter itself split into two rival factions. Hague, Brensinger and Moore convened and chose two other running mates. They were ex-judge Charles F.X. O’Brien and City Clerk Michael I. Fagan.

Portents of the future were seen in the fact that a number of the “Wittpenn clubs” throughout the city deserted Wittpenn and declared for Hague’s slate, well in advance of the election. On March 9, the Eleventh Ward Wittpenn Club announced itself in favor of Hague, Brensinger and Moore, along with J.P. Meehan. Likewise, the Fourth Ward Wittpenn Club endorsed the whole Hague ticket two weeks later.


The Early Career of Mayor Frank Hague Main Menu

Hudson County Facts
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
First issue in a series by Anthony Olszewski
Click HERE to find out more.

Advertiser and Distributor
Inquiries Welcome

Second Thief, Best Thief - The Tunnel Bar by Anthony Olszewski  Stories from a Jersey City Tavern

GRAVE ROBBER Jersey City Computer Repair
297 Griffith Street, Jersey City, NJ - In the Heights just off of Kennedy Blvd. - Very close to Journal Square and Union City, just five minutes away from Hoboken, Downtown Jersey City, Newport, and the Waterfront - 201-798-2292 - Tech support for The Jersey City Mayor's Office During the administration of Bret Schundler - PC repair - upgrade, hardware install, software install, data recovery, spyware removal, virus removal, replace hard drive

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

About the images at the Jersey City History Web Site

Questions? Need more information? Contact us at:
P.O. Box 3362
Jersey City, NJ 07303