100 years ago in The Record

The Record (Troy, NY) - - COMMUNITY -

Satur­day, Dec. 7, 1918. Barely one month after the 1918 con­gres­sional elec­tions, “those peo­ple who are able to sus­tain their in­ter­est in pol­i­tics” are al­ready spec­u­lat­ing about Troy’s chances of send­ing a real rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Congress two years from now. The Col­lar City is di­vided be­tween the 28th and 29th con­gres­sional dis­tricts. Both are rep­re­sented by Repub­li­cans, the 28th district by Rollin B. San­ford of Al­bany, the 29th by James S. Parker of Salem. Some Rens­se­laer County Repub­li­cans want to see one of their own take the place of San­ford or Parker in 1921. They look to Troy’s col­lar in­dus­try for lead­er­ship, hop­ing to see Alba M. Ide in­herit the 28th district or E. Harold Cluett take over the 29th. Ide is the pres­i­dent of the Rens­se­laer County Repub­li­can Club and a mem­ber of the state party’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, and has a pow­er­ful friend in state supreme court judge Wes­ley O. Howard. His pre­sump­tive district, how­ever, is dom­i­nated ge­o­graph­i­cally by Al­bany County and po­lit­i­cally by Al­bany Repub­li­can boss Wil­liam Barnes, the pub­lisher of the Al­bany Evening Jour­nal. “Mr. Ide would have to se­cure the ap­proval of the Barnes or­ga­ni­za­tion for his can­di­dacy as the wards in which he would run in Troy have been go­ing five and six thou­sand against the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee,” The Record re­ports, “How suc­cess­ful the judge would be in in- duc­ing Mr. Barnes to part with a con­gress­man so as to give one to Troy is a mat­ter of un­cer­tain con­jec­ture.”

Cluett, whose Fifth Ward res­i­dence falls in­side the 29th district, ap­pears to have a bet­ter chance at get­ting nom­i­nated. The 29th is made up of “the strong­est Repub­li­can sec­tions of Rens­se­laer county,” along with Saratoga, War­ren and Wash­ing­ton coun­ties.

“In the up­per district there is a good deal of fac­tional strife among the Repub­li­cans,” our re­porter ex­plains, “A sore­ness in War­ren county has been brought about by the re­tire­ment of Sen­a­tor James A. Emer­son. There is fric­tion in Saratoga county kept alive by the in­tense strug­gle for lead­er­ship be­tween Sen­a­tor Ge­orge H. Whit­ney and [former sher­iff] Fred­er­ick W. Ka­vanaugh .… and there is a good deal of dis­af­fec­tion in Wash­ing­ton county.”

In other words, those coun­ties are un­likely to unite be­hind a sin­gle can­di­date should Parker choose not to run again. Rens­se­laer County’s GOP isn’t free from fac­tion­al­ism, but our writer be­lieves that lo­cal Repub­li­cans are more likely to unite be­hind “a man of Mr. Cluett’s stand­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Whether ei­ther Parker or San­ford, who “have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of sev­eral years of ser­vice at very crit­i­cal times [and] en­joy valu­able com­mit­tee ap­point­ments,” will step aside in 1920 re­mains to be seen.

—Kevin Gil­bert

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