The Real “Stolen Election”: Frank Hague and New Jersey’s 1937 Race for Governor
Any notion of a rigged 2020 national election pales in comparison to America’s real “stolen election” 83 years before, in New Jersey. Republican state senator Lester H. Clee was poised to make the 1937 gubernatorial election a very close race. He carried 14 of the state’s 21 counties and was nearly tied in 5 others. Yet the day after polls closed, people awoke to news that Clee’s 80,000-vote lead had vanished. Overnight, his majority was erased by late returns from one single county—Hudson County, the power base of state Democratic boss Frank Hague. The 45,000-vote plurality delivered by Hague’s indomitable political machine put Clee’s opponent A. Harry Moore over the top. This article examines claims made by Republicans of the day that the 1937 election was stolen: that Lester Clee lost to A. Harry Moore because of institutionalized voter fraud in Hudson County.
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