For months Michigan Republicans had feared that the G.O.P. nomination for U.S. Senator might go to rabble-rousing Gerald L. K. Smith, onetime Huey Long lieutenant. But last week Judge Homer Ferguson, a great & good citizen, finished the job of cleaning out Detroit's rackets and allowed himself to be drafted.
Boob-Thumper. Those who were surprised by Gerald Smith's audacious bid for the nomination do not know Gerald Smith. Huey Long called him a better rabble-rouser than himself, a tribute which pleased Gerald Smith as much as H. L. Mencken's appraisal of him as the "champion boob-thumper of all epochs."
Worker. Republican leaders needed a strong man to head off Gerald Smith. They found him in mild-mannered, hardworking Judge Ferguson. In three years, working as a one-man grand jury, silver-haired Judge Ferguson had mopped up gambling and vice rackets with an annual take of $20,000,000, had sent nearly a dozen city officials and scores of bribe-taking policemen to jail (TIME, June 1). He talked little about democracy, tried his best to make it work.
If incorruptible Judge Ferguson beats off the threat of Gerald Smith, he will come up against a worthy opponent in November: rugged, independent Democratic Senator Prentiss M. Brown. Michigan will probably be one of the few States with two meritorous candidates for the Senate.