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Newspaper Page Text
SOME REASONS WHY WM. H. THOMPSON WAS
ELECTED MAYOR OF CHICAGO
BY N. D. COCHRAN
After every-great battle there are victors and vanquished, joy and sor
row, elation and disappointment and many good people in both armies.
It isn't worth while to dwell much on the selfish fortunes of individuals,
but there is interest in the probable effect on the entire community.
Wm. Hale Thompson goes into the office of mayor of Chicago about
as free as it is possible for a man'who runs for office to be. That is, he is
free to serve the public, without being hampered too much by obligation
to a machine, a party or any boss or set of bosses. He was nominated
over the active protest of his party machine or organization; and he was
elected in spite of the active opposition of almost the entire loop press and
the combined public utilities, State street stores, big banking interests and
loop property interests generally.
He owes nothing to Peoples' Gas, Commonwealth Edison, Chicago
Telephone or the street railway interests.
He is under no obligation to any newspaper owner or boss, for the
result would have been the same if every newspaper in Chicago had
actively opposed him.
The people took the bit in their teeth, did their own thinking and their
own voting; and they demonstrated that the people CAN RULE when they
make up their minds to do it.
I talked to Thompson but once, and the conclusion T formed was that
he had family pride which is always helpful in keeping a man straight
and that if both sides of a proposition were clearly presented to him he
would prefer the right side. He will
make mistakes, of course. All men
do. He may listen to bad advice,
without going deep into the question;
but I don't think he will throw the
people of Chicago designedly on any
auestion where the public interest is
Republican politicians, quite hu
manly, will try to make his victory a
party victory. That's part of the
game. But it isn't a party victory in
the sense that the Republican party
in Chicago stands for anything differ
ent from what the Democratic party
stands for. Thompson got the big
vote because of the things people
thought Thompson himself stood for,
and also because of the things they
thought Sullivan, Hopkins and Sweit
izer stood for.
Normally, Chicago is Democratic
jneasured by the number of voters
who have the party habit; but there
'were thousands of voters who think
!thsyare Democrats who worked just
as-hard far Thompson as their neigh
bors who think they are Republicans.
In fact, it came as near being a
nonpartisan election as we could well
have. The party issue was subor
dinate to the religious and other is
sues which are nonpartisan.
My own opinion is that the issue
which influenced more voters than
any other was the public school issue.
Unemployment, hard times, busi
ness depression and various effects of
the European war worked against
Sweitzer because he happened to be
a candidate of the party in power na
tionally. And there is no doubt at all about
the big influence of Harrison Demo
crats in supporting. Thompson in or
der to put the Sullivan-Hopkins Dem
ocratic alliance out of business.
The belief that the public utilities
were back of Sweitzer had its influ
Aside from the hostility of the
Harrison faction, to Sullivan, there.
were other Democrats who.believe in. -