George Lawson and the 1925 New Jersey Elections

[Between 2009 and 2011, I maintained a TypePad blog, “More Fiends,” intended to update my book Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines. Those posts can still be found in the archive.org Wayback Machine, but I stopped updating that site in 2011. Because this WordPress site promotes and updates all my books, I’d like to republish some of those earlier posts.]

Posted 3/31/2010:

In Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines I describe George Lawson’s anti-Klan crusade and how it escalated to his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey. Freshly digitized editions of the Trenton Times reveal that this more than just a solo ego-trip.


George developed a whole slate of candidates under a third-party ticket called  “Constitutional Liberty.”  Several offices were targeted:

  • New Jersey State Assembly representing Monmouth County: Ella Bedle Wieber Lawson (GHL’s wife)
  • New Jersey State Assembly representing Monmouth County: James E. Ward
  • New Jersey State Assembly representing Middlesex County: John Lester
  • New Jersey State Assembly representing Middlesex County: Nathan Simmons
  • United States Congress New Jersey 3rd District: George H. Zundt


I haven’t yet found any information on the background of any of these people, which is oddly similar to the way GHL dropped names of the supporters of his baseball leagues. However, I’ll assume that they were real. The campaign manager of the Constitutional Liberty party was George Maynard Riley, who certainly was real: he was GHL’s partner in the formation of the Continental League in 1921.
Source: Trenton Times, Mar. 24, 1925

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