Los Angeles Mayor George Alexander

George Alexander (1839 - 1923) was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and his family emigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old. In 1909 he ran in a recall election against Mayor Arthur C. Harper, and won. Alexander was running for re-election in the 1911 race. Job Harriman, a well known labor lawyer and leading socialist figure, had initially been hired by the McNamara brothers as defense counsel and he remained on the team after Clarence Darrow took over. Harriman was running for mayor during the preparation for the trial of the McNamara brothers. He surprised many when he won the mayoral primary in October 1911 on the Socialist ticket. But in November Darrow and just a few defense lawyers were engaged in plea negotiations that were so secretive that Darrow did not even tell his own clients and Harriman and his mayoral campaign were also not told. The prosecution gave the defense a deadline of Friday, December 1, 1911 to agree to a plea deal or face trial. They wanted the McNamara brothers to plead guilty before the mayoral election the following Tuesday knowing that it would greatly hurt Harriman's election chances. The McNamara brothers agreed to plead guilty and did so on December 1, 1911. News of the guilty pleas greatly upset labor and Harriman's socialist supporters. Before the news hit, the mayoral race was too close to call but because of the plea deal, Harriman ended up losing by twenty thousand votes to Alexander.