Every good politician knows how important control of local governments can be to a national election. But last November, when they swept 14 of the 16 offices then at stake in Cook County, Illinois' elated Republicans committed a major political blunder. They figured they could win this spring's Chicago mayoralty with anybody.

They got some help in this belief from national headquarters. Said National Chairman B. Carroll Reece: "It will be said, undoubtedly, that the abilities and character of the individual candidate are more important than his party label. Do not be...

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