A year ago Baltimore's Mayor Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro Jr. was reeling from the blows of personal and political misfortune (TIME, April 26). His second son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt D'Alesandro, had been indicted for statutory rape; acquitted, young D'Alesandro was charged with committing perjury at the same trial. (He was again acquitted.) Charges of graft were billowing around City Hall, e.g., the mayor's friend, Dominic Piracci, who had most of the city's garage-building business, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the city, and the record revealed that Piracci (whose daughter married the mayor's eldest son) had written checks totaling more than $11,000 to the mayor's wife. All this was too much for Mayor Tommy: he had a nervous collapse that hospitalized him for more than four months.
For D'Alesandro, 51, a political collapse seemed so imminent that six hopeful Democrats filed against him in the primary, and all but one of Baltimore's Democratic district bosses deserted him.
But last week, when the primary votes were counted, Mayor Tommy carried every one of the city's 28 wards and amassed 80,370 votes, a clear majority. It was his 21st consecutive victory at the polls (eleven primaries, ten general elections) since he first ran for office 29 years ago.