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By 19xx we had lived in Arlington, Massachsetts for y years. I had helped in several electoral campaigns, had helped organize the Arlington Citizens for Democratic Rerorm, and had managed my friend John Elder's valient, but losing congressional campaign. My first wife, Adele, was the first of our family to run for election in Arlington. She and several of our friends ran to be elected to the Town Democratic Committee. They did not get elected but it was a very good organizing effort for us and very many of our friends.

So when I decided to run for School Committee, I had a good organizational base from which to start. A neighbor, Ann Klein, became my campaign manager, and many friends and relatives enlisted in the campaign.

The Arlington School Committee has 9 members. At the time it was pretty much a closed club. All but one member had been born and raised in the town. The one exception had moved into Arlington from nearby Cambridge many years previously. The then Superintendent of Schools was a wiley gentleman who did lots of favors, large and small for the committee members. Politically, Arlington, except for a couple of Republican holdovers from the town's pre- WWII past, was overwhelmingly Democratic. In Arlington it was a Democratic party that was heavily Irish (like the town had become as WWII vets had moved in, in large numbers, following the war causing a building boom in the 50s. And there was a strong minority of Italian Democrats.

At the very beginning of the campaign, we learned from friends, that a friend of theirs, Gene Kirby, was also contemplating a race. He was the Superintendent of a vocational school, I was a dean at Harvard. We talked and to our surprise discovered that we had very, very similar ideas about what public education should be. After a few talks it seemed to make since to join our campaigns. Each year three committe members were up for reelectiion. We resolved to try to take two of those seats. Many people were leary of the joint campaign idea. It had never been tried, and if either of us turned out not to be a good campaigner, he would drag the other down with him to joint defeat.

However, the idea began to catch on. Gene's manager was a friend of mine as well as a friend of my manager. The four of us worked quite well together. Not without disagreements here and there, but nevertheless well. We seperately wrote our own campaign literature, found a guy in the ad business whose ideas were like ours, and published campaign literature (brochures, bumper stickers, etc.) in the same format, colors and typeface. This quickly became the Kirby-Kraus campaign. So much so that on election day some people came out of the voting booth scratching their heads, saying the could not find Herby Kraus on the ballot anywhere!

I campaigned door-to-door talking to the voters. Our managers organized 52 coffees in houses scattered all over Arlington, all held in a period of less than two months! We did two a night. I would appear first at one, Gene first at the other; then we would drive to where the other had first appeared and repeat our performances. We got very good reactions.

By election day, we stood until the polls closed at the two polling places with the largest number of voters, then we went to our homes to nervously await the results. The results were magnificent! Gene got more votes than anyone had ever gotten for town office in Arlington! And I had the second highest ever! I served two three year terms. I think Gene served three terms.

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