Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mathna vs Urban for Mayor – November 1963

Full-page ad that ran November 4, 1963 in the Journal
Back on Election Day 1963, Republican Mayor Woodrow W. Mathna was battling his opponent, Thomas J. Urban. Mathna was seeking re-election to a second term, and Urban was a former city treasurer.

What was interesting was that both men resided in the same neighborhood and voted in the same precinct – 4-G, in the predominantly Democratic Fourth Ward.

Nov. 6, 1963 Journal
When the smoke cleared, Mathna prevailed. As the Journal put it the next day, "The 50-year old former three-term Fourth Ward councilman rolled in on a record wave of 21,433 votes in an off-year election to hand his Democratic opponent, Thomas J. Urban, a shellacking by a 1,688 vote margins. The 21,433 voters in the election represented 75.8 percent of the city's 28,264 voters."

Mathna won a majority of the votes in the First, Second, Fourth, Seventh and Eight wards. He lost the Fifth Ward by a 1,272 to 921 margin, which according to the Journal was not a surprise, since it was a Democratic stronghold where Joseph A. Ujhelyi, chairman of the Lorain County Democratic Party, had lived most of his life.

The Journal noted, "A tireless campaigner, Mathan tramped door-to-door and shook thousands of hands in his quest for a second term." (In 1961, Mathna had become the city's first GOP mayor in 16 years.)

The newspaper summed up Mathna's 1963 re-election as follows: "The Mathna victory was the most sensational since November 1939, when former GOP Mayor Harry G. Van Wagnen defeated the Democratic incumbent, Albert R. Matuszak, now Lorain postmaster, by a 1,448-vote margin."

Journal ad of November 9, 1963

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