For Hogan, Tuesday Was Just the Beginning
HEN FRANK McDONALD, a local funeral parior owner, picked up the phone to console John Hogan '73, he did not face a very difficult job.
"Hogan was a candidate for the State Senate in last Tuesday's Democratic primary in the Second Middlesex district. He had just spoken to Peter Cadzas, his 21-year-old campaign manager. Cadzas told Hogan that he had just gotten the returns from Waltham and that it was now certain that the race was lost. After Cadzas finished telling Hogan the news, he handed the phone to McDonald.
"Kid, we still love 'ya. You done a great job and you got nothing to be ashamed about. Keep your people together and get ready to go at this guy again in two years." McDonald told Hogan between puffs on his cigar.
Shortly after taking the call from Cadzas and McDonald. Hogan came over to his headquarters where his aides had been gathering the results. Most of his workers were over at the Knights of Columbus Hall, two blocks away, so Hogan took a couple of minutes to talk to his advisors.
"John, we were screwed by the rain. All of (Senator Francis X.) McCann's old reliables turned out," one worker told him.
"Ya know, it's difficult enough to best an incumbent in a primary on a normal day, but with this goddamn rain..." another compalined, shaking his head.
In spite of the loss--he eventually finished third in a five-man field--Hogan seemed unruffled and perhaps a bit relieved that the campaign was over. His appearance was the same as it had been during the campaign.
Hogan's dark brown suit still held its press, and his blue and white stripped button down shirt was unwrinkled. He complained briefly about the rain, but seemed satisfied with the efforts that he and his campaign staff made during the year in which he had been an active candidate for the seat.
"We did the best we could, that's all you can do," Hogan said, recalling out loud the number of hours he had spent knocking on doors, standing at bus stops and leafletting shopping centers.
Cadzas, who directed Hogan's primary day operations, expressed similar sentiments, "I really don't know what we could have done differently. We worked the hardest of any candidate and the weather really hurt us."
Both Cadzas and Hogan recognized that they had achieved their major objectives, regardless of what the final returns showed. They had developed a strong political organization and political base in Allston-Brighton. While running poorly in other areas around the district, Hogan had won his home ward by 1000 votes over McCann and the other major contender in the race. Cambridge School Committeeman David Wylie. During the campaign Hogan had developed a strong nucleus of 150 workers who were now loyal to him. Further, Hogan had proven to the political pros that he could run a first-rate campaign.
Given this state of affairs, it is easy to see why Cadzas and Hogan viewed primary day as a sort of anticlimax. They knew that they had done their jobs in the campaign and all they could do was hope that the people turned to vote. They obviously wanted to win, but both knew that Hogan would be back for another shot if he did not win Tuesday.
There was none of the helter skelter activity in the Hogan campaign that one usually sees on election day. At 7 a.m., when the polls opened in some parts of the district, there were people sitting lazily around the office and no one had a sense of urgency about what they were about to do.
Even when the returns started to trickle in, Cadzas showed no overt signs of emotion. As the returns from Allston-Brighton were coming in. Cadzas was brushing his teeth, getting ready for the party later on.
After the brief discussion with his aides, Hogan walked over to the Knights of Columbus Hall. He smiled as he walked and joked about registering and moving into Eliot House again. When he entered the hall, he was greeted by a standing ovation from 150 of his supporters.
Most of the people there were Irish or Italian and in their early twenties. All were neatly dressed, with the boys wearing dark-colored jackets and slacks, and the girls in brightly colored dresses.
As soon as Hogan come into view his father come over to him and embraced him in a bear hug. Hogan's father, a burly Irishman with reddy cheeks and a double claim, whispered in his son's our that he should make a speech and then circulate among the workers to thank them personally.
Hogan thanked his supporters for all their efforts and told them that they had proved the experts wrong who had said that his candidacy would never get off the ground.
"We set the pace in this campaign. The other candidates copied our techniques and literature and while I don't plan to announce my candidacy for any other office tonight. I think we proved that we are a political force to be contended with."
Following his short speech Hogan began to circulate among his workers. He heard the same complaints he had heard earlier about the rain and about the tenacity of McCann's loyalists until one of the few older men in the crowd took him aside.
"John boy, you know McCann lost six times before he won his seat," the man said.
"I know," Hogan replied.