“…we did not discuss politics.”


So proclaimed the headline of an article in the San Diego Union of January 8, 1913.

“Spring politics took on more life yesterday when it became known in San Diego that George W. Marston, prominent merchant and pioneer of the city, is a possible candidate for mayor at the April election.”

The paper reported that a letter “was sent to Marston yesterday by twenty-seven prominent citizens of the city strongly urging him to make the mayoralty race and pledging their support to his candidacy.”

The text of the letter was printed in full by the Union, which somehow got it before even Marston did. The paper called him up to ask about it, and Marston replied that “I was told tonight downtown that the letter had been sent to me, but I have not yet received it and I can hardly give an opinion on a letter I haven’t read.”

One of the interesting things about this particular article is that Marston also volunteered that he had spent the previous evening at the home of Julius Wangenheim. Mr. Wangenheim just happened to be one of the signers of the letter urging Marston to run. But when the Union phoned Wangenheim about it, he told them, “I can’t say whether he will be a candidate for mayor or not. Although he was at my home this evening, it was a literary gathering and we did not discuss politics.”

Wangenheim hastened to add that he “sincerely hoped” Marston would make the race.

There are two other interesting things about this article. One is its position, on column one of the front page of the Union’s Second Section. The other is that the entire rest of the page is taken up by an advertisement for Marston’s Department Store, headlined in letters of comparable size to the article, “Marston’s January Sales.”

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