Who Dat? – W

The nation’s 43rd president was often known simply as “W.”  When the Washington Nationals win a game — which lately has not been too often — people are told to put up a “Curly W” to celebrate the victory.

But in this case, W is the first letter of politicians’ last names that we just can’t identify.

As our fellow political junkies know, for some time now we’ve been showing photos of unknown buttons, arranged alphabetically by candidate names, for you to help identify.  We can’t make heads or tails of these candidates, most of whom we’ve never heard of.  And when we see a “Smith for Congress” or a “Jones for Senator” button, how do we know which Smith or which Jones?  So we’ve been posting pictures of these buttons, hoping you will have the answer.  Often, you have come through, which is most appreciated.

We’re approaching the end of the alphabet.  (Check out our previous “Who Dats”:  Unknowns beginning with the Letter A, Letter B, two pages for Letter C (here and here), Letter D, Letter E, Letter F, Letter G, Letter H, Letter I, Letter J, Letter K, Letter L, Letter M, Letter N, Letter O, Letter P, Letter R, two parts for Letter S (here and here), Letter T and Letter V.  Let the record show we don’t have enough unknown Q or U candidates to list.  We even have one showing of buttons with pictures only — no names.  That’s even harder to decipher.

We kinda think that “John H. Weiler” is a Massachusetts pol.  “Wojta” may be from Ohio.  “Wasser” from upstate New York, while “Winter” might be from NYC (it’s colder there).  And the large “Win With Wilson” as well as the “Wack a Crack” could be Pennsylvania.  Can you help?  Thanks!

18 thoughts on “Who Dat? – W”

  1. “J.C. Walton for mayor” (page 4) is John C. “Jack” Walton, who was elected mayor of OKC in 1919, served as governor in 1923, was impeached and convicted, and ran for mayor again in 1931.

  2. “Attorney general Walther ’94” — Stephen Walther, deputy A.G. of Delaware, who was defeated that year for the GOP state convention endorsement. (See Wilmington News-Journal, “Brady wins bid for GOP backing,” 5/22/94, and “Walther quits race for atttorney general,” 6/4/94.)

  3. “Elect Woodland Senator 16th Senate District” — An Ohio item. Donald L. Woodland (D-Franklin county) was elected to represent the 16th district in 1972 but lost the Dem primary in 1976.

  4. Wathen is Richard B. Wathen (R-IN). He ran twice in Indiana 9, losing the GOP primary in 1968 and losing the 1970 general to Lee Hamilton. He was born and raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana, on the Ohio River. During World War II, he commanded LST-864, which was built in Jeffersonville and is depicted on his button; the slogan “Jeff Built” presumably refers to both Wathen and his vessel. (See Richard B. Wathen, Wathen’s Law: The Hang-ups of an Indiana Politician [Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981], pp. 3-4, 93, 139; CQ Weekly Report, 5/10/1968, p. 1099.)

  5. Alban Weber, a Republican, was elected a Chicago alderman in 1947 and defeated in 1951 after running afoul of the local GOP organization. In 1969, he was a candidate in the special primary to replace U.S. Rep. Don Rumsfeld in Illinois 13, but withdrew.

  6. Samuel H. Wragg (R), president of the Massachusetts state senate 1937-38, was elected Norfolk County sheriff four times: 1938, 1944, 1950, and 1956. (Sheriffs served 6-year terms.) He died in office in 1959.

    1938 election returns — https://archive.org/details/electionstatisti19371939mass/page/379/mode/1up?q=sheriff

    1944 — https://archive.org/details/electionstatisti19431945mass/page/342/mode/2up?q=sheriff&view=theater

    1950 — https://archive.org/details/electionstatisti19501951mass/page/327/mode/1up?q=sheriff

    1956 — https://archive.org/details/electionstatisti1956mass/page/420/mode/1up?q=sheriff

  7. “Welty-Fiorillo-Peterson-O’Hara-Frank” — Yonkers, N.Y. muni. election, 1945. Edith P. Welty, Albert L. Fiorillo, John A. Peterson, Patrick F. O’Hara, and Curtis E. Frank were the “fusion” ticket for Yonkers city council, endorsed by the GOP and the City Manager League. Frank, Welty, and Fiorillo were elected, giving Fusion a 3-2 majority on the council; Peterson and O’Hara lost. (Yonkers Herald-Statesman, 11/8/1945 and 11/10/45.)

  8. “White for Congress ’70” with elephant —

    I’ve been able to find only one GOP congressional candidate named White in 1970: Bernard H. White, who challenged incumbent Lawrence Williams in Pennsylvania 6 and got around 35%. (See Scammon, ed., America Votes 1970, p. 295.)

    In Tennessee, Ray D. White, a GOP state rep from Chattanooga, seems to have announced a candidacy in Tennessee 3, which Bill Brock was vacating for a Senate race. (See CQ Weekly Rpt., 2/20/1970, p. 483.) However, he probably never filed, since he received no votes in the primary. (America Votes 1970, p. 320.)

  9. Samuel Wragg (R-MA), who was president of the state Senate in 1937-38, was elected Norfolk County sheriff in 1938 and re-elected in 1944, ’50, and ’56; he died in office in 1959.

  10. Mike Westergren was a Democratic candidate in the Texas 27 special election to replace Blake Farenthold. He finished 5th of 9 candidates with about 2.3%.


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