By Wally Edge | October 29th, 2008 - 6:00pm
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Former Newark Mayor Jacob Haussling was one of New Jersey's most colorful and tragic political figures.  He was 33-years-old Democrat when he launched his political career in 1888 as an unsuccessful candidate for Essex County Sheriff.  He ran for County Clerk in 1891 and lost to Republican Richard Cooper by just seventeen votes countywide.  He was elected Sheriff in 1893, but lost his 1896 bid for re-election to Republican Henry Doremus.

Ten years later, Haussling sought a political comeback -- and a rematch with Doremus -- on a single issue: his opposition to the "Bishop's Law," a local ordinance that forced saloons to close on Sundays. His "liberality with decency" agenda met with the approval of voters.  Haussling defeated Doremus, who was seeking re-election to his third term as Mayor of Newark.

"Mr. Haussling was no reformer.  Once a reform organization said of him that he ran on a single platform and that plank was 'What'll you have?," according to a published report.  "He never resented the accusation nor was he ashamed of the fact that he could start campaigning at 7 o'clock in the evening, keep going till the next morning, always know one more place where men in receptive mood were to be found, and always leave by the wayside candidates of weaker fiber."

Haussling was re-elected easily in 1908, 1910 and 1912.  But controversies surrounding the indictment of the Essex County Democratic boss James R. Nugent (who had been dumped by Gov. Woodrow Wilson as Democratic State Chairman) helped Republican Thomas Raymond unseat Haussling in the 1914 election.

Haussling became depressed after his loss and committed suicide nine years later at age 66.  "They all left him," his widow told the reporter who wrote his obituary.  "A few years ago he couldn't walk the streets without being stopped by thousands of friends.  But that was all changed, and it broke his heart." 

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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