Nation: Letting George Do It

Although St. Paul conducts its local elections without partisan labels, it counts as a definitely Democratic city. Accordingly, it came as a surprise two years ago when plodding George Vavoulis, owner of a small florist shop, got elected mayor by 6,000 votes; Vavoulis ran as an independent, but was regarded as a Republican. Accepted explanation for the upset: Vavoulis' opponent, supported by Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor alliance, was overconfident, waged too easygoing a campaign. When Vavoulis ran for reelection this year, the D.F.L. candidate campaigned strenuously, placed newspaper ads picturing himself and President Kennedy, and few St. Paul politicians expected Vavoulis to repeat...

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