With the certainty of Colonel Herbert H. Lehman’s election to the Lieutenant-Governorship of the State of New York practically assured, doubt continued yesterday as to the fate of Albert Ottinger in his race with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Democratic nominee, for the New York Governorship.
The vote for Lieutenant-Governor, with 542 districts missing, gave Lehman 1,997,912 and Charles C. Lockwood, Republican, 1,908,365, a plurality of 89,547.
Though Franklin D. Roosevelt claimed his election to the Governorship on the face of the latest returns Thursday noon, Albert Ottinger, Republican candidate, still refused to concede the victory, and it was announced from his headquarters that “nothing will be claimed or conceded” until returns are checked officially next week.
The last available returns place the Roosevelt total at 2,109,512 and the Ottinger total at 2,082,031, a Democratic plurality of 27,481, with twenty-nine upstate districts missing and two missing in New York City.
Mr. Ottinger was closely watching the belated returns as they trickled in, hoping that enough Republican pluralities could be recorded in the thirty-one election districts still missing to insure his election. He was considering, he said, the employment of a staff of expert accountants to check all election figures in the hope that errors in the count would be discovered, but, in any event, he added, he would not concede that he had been defeated until all totals are checked next Monday or Tuesday by the count election board, as required by law.
At the Roosevelt headquarters, Maurice Bloch, Democratic floor leader in the Assembly, figured that the largest Republican pluralities still to be expected from up state could not put Mr. Roosevelt’s lead below 20,000, but there was a sharp disagreement with this at the Ottinger headquarters, where H. Edmund Machold, Republican State Chairman, figured that final returns would not give Mr. Roovelt a majority of more than 10,000.
This majority, Mr. Machold reasoned, is in nowise safe when it is remembered that it is based on hurriedly compiled election night figures. He recalled that on the day after the election in 1926 Benjamin Stolz, Mr. Ottinger’s opponent for Attorney-General, was 380,000 ahead, but that by nightfall the lead had been cut to 7,495 and that subsequent corrections in several upstate counties when the totals were checked officially not only wiped out the lead entirely but brought about the election of Mr. Ottinger by a majority of 14,565. A similar reversal, he thought, might well occur this year.
“Under the circumstances,” Mr. Machold concluded, “we will neither concede nor claim anything until after the official canvass provided by law.”
Mr. Ottinger agreed with Mr. Machold’s point of view that he still had a chance to win and that a final checkup might wipe out the Roosevelt lead. Told of this attitude, Mr. Roosevelt said there was no point in the Republican leaders refusing to concede the election, asserting that the final figures will not vary more than a few hundred votes from the totals already in hand. He added that he would make no formal statement “until and unless the other people conceded the election.”
Mr. Roosevelt’s personal estimates of the race showed that he would carry the state by a plurality of 28,959. This figure was based on a city plurality of 40,745 against an Ottinger plurality up state of 371,786. He thought these figures would be verified when all districts make their reports and that any variation would be negligible.
Declaring that he attaches no importance to the Republican argument as to the final outcome of the checkup, Mr. Roosevelt further stated: “I also want to thank and congratulate my friend, Mr. Ottinger, for the manner in which he conducted his campaign. I am glad we came through the campaign as good friends and I think it has been remarkably free from mudslinging.”
It has been said of Colonel Herbert H. Lehman, candidate for Lieutenant-Governor on the Democratic ticket, that he accepted the nomination solely to aid his friend, Governor Smith, in his campaign for the Presidency, states the New York “Herald-Tribune,” Republican paper.
When Representative Meyer Jacobstein presented Colonel Lehman’s name to the Democratic convention he said: “I want to say one thing to clear the decks. The man whose name I am going to place before you is named because of his eminent fitness alone, and not because he is a Jew. Needless to say, he is proud of being a Jew, and we Jews are proud of him.”
Colnel Lehman was persuaded to accept the nomination only after it had been pointed out that his campaign would aid the chances of Governor Smith.
Colonel Lehman has been associated with Governor Smith for many years. During the present campaign he served the Democratic candidate for President as finance director. In 1926 he was campaign manager for Governor Smith in his successful fight to win the Governorship a fourth time, and he was one of the leaders of the Smith boom for the Presidency before the nomination this year.
He was born in New York City on March 28, 1878, and his home has always been in New York. He attended the public schools here, and later received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Williams College. In 1921 Williams College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts, twenty-two years after his graduation there.
He began his business career in the employ of J. Spencer Turner Company, textile manufacturers, and became vice-president and treasurer of the company in 1906. Two years later he entered into partnership with his brothers to form a brokerage firm, called Lehman Brothers.
His rise in business was rapid. Since 1908 he has become director of the Studebaker Corporation, the Jewel Tea Company, the Van Raalte Company, the Kelsey Hayes Wheel Corporation, the Pierce Oil Corporation, Spear Â£ Co., Franklin Simon Â£ Co., Robert Reis Â£ Co., Abraham Â£ Straus, the Fidelity Trust Company and the County Trust Company.
He served with the army during the World War, entering the service as a captain. He was promoted through various grades to colonel, serving as assistant director of purchase, storage and traffic of the War Department. In 1919 he received the Distinguished Service Medal.
His experience and interest in philanthropic movements have been broad, and he is one of the few wealthy Jewish leaders who have not identified themselves definitely with one or another of the Jewish movements to the exclusion of others. He is a trustee of the Henry Street Settlement, the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, and is vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee and of the Palestine Economic Corporation.
He is also director of the Welfare Council in New York, treasurer of Surprise Lake Camp and the Child Welfare Committee of America. Among the clubs and societies to which he belongs are the Army and Navy, National Democratic, Williams, Bankers’, Reform, Harmonie and Phi Gamma Delta. He lives in White Plains. In 1910 he married Edith Altschul, of San Francisco. They have three children.