Once again a Harvard graduate has reached the top of Boston's political ladder. Malcolm Edwin Nichols '99, newly elected Mayor of the city, brings the University to the fore once more in City Hall, where A. J. Peters '95 was Mayor only a few years ago.
Mayor-elect Nichols has been in politics for many years. The political success that has attended him almost since he graduated from Harvard was in the forefront of the Boston mayoralty fight Tuesday. Mr. Nichols, one of a field of ten struggling candidates, emerged an easy victor. His plurality of 21,790 votes is the largest received by any candidate for the office in many years.
Noted Boxer While in College
Mr. Nichols, who prepared for college at the high school of his native city, Portland, Me was the so of a New England sea captain, Edwin T. Nichols. He entered Harvard in 1895, and steered clear of most extra-curriculum activities while in college. He did win note as a boxer of merit, and to this day boxing has been the means of the Mayor-elect receiving his daily exercise.
Like many other s who have succeeded in the political game, Mr. Nichols started his career as a journalist, working as a reporter for the old Boston Record and then for the Boston Post and the Boston Traveler. It was in these years of his journalistic career that he first became acquainted with the work of the office he will hold for the next four years. For several years he reported political news exclusively, and in this work made many friendships which aided him in his later battles.
Turning to politics itself in 1903, he became a reform candidate for the old Common Council of Boston, but, forced to buck the Innes machine of "regular Republicanism" that was even then in power, he was defeated. A year later however, he won, and soon rose to the presidency of the body.
Gets Support of Innes
It was at this point of his career that Mr. Nichols so impressed Innes that the Republican boss decided to support him; and now, 21 years later, Mr. Nichols is mayor largely because he received the Innes support in the campaign.
In 1906 the young newspaperman was elected to the State legislature. There he served for three years, acting as clerk of the House Committee on Metropolitan Affairs. During his term in the legislature Mr. Nichols continued his newspaper work and also studied law. He was admitted to the Bar in 1908.
Taking up his law work with offices on Tremont Street, Mr. Nichols deserted both Journalism and politics for a while, but in 1914 he came again before the others and was elected to the State Senate. During the war years he was once more in the higher body of the General Court, and at the same time was a leader in the Liberty Loan drives As chairman of the Committee on Taxation in the Senate, he was called upon to deal with various war measures.
Appointed Transit Chairman
Mayor Peters appointed him school house commissioner in 1919, and a little later he was made chairman of the Boston Transit Commission. It was while holding this office that Mr. Nichols was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for Massachusetts by President Harding in 1921.
Always a staunch Republican, Collector Nichols appealed to many of the G. O. P. faction in Boston as Mayor Curley's term neared its end. The Nichols boom stated comparatively late, but by midsummer he appeared to be among the strongest mayoralty candidates among the large number then mentioned as possibilities.
Receives Wadsworth Support
When in September Mr. Nichols received the support of Eliot Wadsworth '98 as the head of his all-party committee, the fight was practically won. With the Innes machine openly backing him, Mr. Nichols conducted a forceful campaign and received the important endorsement of the Good Government Association.
On Tuesday the election was all Nichols. For a time it seemed that Glynn, the candidate of the Curley faction, and O'Neil, the regular Democratic nominee, might give him a close run. But the Irish vote was badly split, while Cook and McGauley and Burrill, Republicans running to take votes from Nichols, received almost no support at the polls Mr. Nichols received 64,484 votes, with Glynn, his nearest opponent, gathering only 42,696 votes.
On January 1, 1926, Mayor-elect Nichols will take office, and promises to reverse many of the policies advocated during the last four years by Mayor Curley.