Lillian Ford Feickert

1928 GOP Primary: Wets, Suffragettes, Drys and Wine

One of the most divisive primaries in New Jersey history came in 1928, when a Kean and a Frelinghuysen faced off in a U.S. Senate contest where harsh personal attacks and rumors crippled the campaign of the first woman to ever run statewide.

Lillian Ford Feickert was a suffragette and prohibitionist who helped usher women through the newly opened door to politics in the 1920’s, but managed to get only 5% of the vote in a primary where five candidates fought for the chance to take on Edward I. Edwards, a one-term Democratic U.S. Senator and former Governor.

The irrefutable underdog, Feickert was the only candidate never to have held elected office. In addition to her relatively unpopular stance on Prohibition, she was also forced to contend with the war chests of deep-pocketed candidates like Hamilton Fish Kean and former U.S. Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, as well former Governor Edward Stokes and former two-term Congressman Edward Gray.

With suffrage off the political agenda, prohibition became the decisive issue of the times. Running as a “bone-dry” candidate, Feickert faced rivals supporting more popular variations of “wet”.

The crippling blow however came in the final week before the May 15th primary when reports that Feickert had drunken wine while on a trip to Europe “came to the ears of Women’s Temperance Union Leaders” before reaching headlines.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

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Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

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 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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