Pat Kramer Obituary, Four-Term Paterson Mayor And GOP Gubernatorial Frontrunner Dies At 90

Pat Kramer Obituary, Death – Former Paterson mayor Lawrence F. “Pat” Kramer, Jr., who finished second in the 1981 Republican governorship primary, died Friday night. He was 90. His cabinet outlived Gov. William T. Cahill last. From 1971 until 1974, Kramer was Community Affairs Commissioner. Kramer promoted ambitious urban renewal and social projects in New Jersey’s third-largest city as mayor. Kramer’s governorship bid ended when lawmakers removed county borders from primary. Today our Paterson community mourns the loss of a true public servant and a pillar of our city, Pat Kramer,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, who befriended his former opponent. Pat, my lifelong buddy, was a great advisor and collaborator.

When depressed, Pat’s humor cheered everyone. He just made people happy. I met great leaders from many fields.” Pascrell stated “few people, anywhere, have done more to help others and dedicate themselves more to their community than Pat. He remarked, “Through force of will, Pat and his wife Mary Ellen brought President Ford to our city and began preserving the Great Falls Historic District, our crown jewel.” Everyone should know Pat loved our city as we honor him today. Pat’s children and Roseanne, his beloved, are in my prayers. His kids and mine grew up like their father. Paterson’s soul is gone, but others will serve their city and neighbors. Pat was all about that. Rest easy, friend.” Kramer ran for mayor 1966. Paterson mayors can serve two three-year terms, unlike Frank X. Graves. Paterson GOP Municipal Chairman Herman Steinberg chose Kramer, a 33-year-old lumber yard owner and Board of Education and planning board member, above Passaic County Sheriff Frank Davenport and other Republicans for mayor.

Kramer was the underdog in the November general election against Paterson Housing Authority Chairman John Wegner, who had defeated former Mayor Michael DeVita by 275 votes in a tight Democratic primary and got Passaic County Democratic chairman State Sen. Anthony Grossi’s support. WWII Army captain DeVita defeated four-term Republican Mayor Furrey in 1947. He was re-elected in 1949 after being indicted for ordering a police officer to lie about illegal gambling. No indictment was filed against DeVita after the election. Frank Hague defeated his third-term bid by claiming that Mobster Abner “Longy” Zwillman controlled the New Jersey Democratic Party and named Passaic County Democratic Chairman DeVita as one of his Democratic leaders.

Republican Lester Titus won 52%-48%. Many Wegner supporters supported Kramer once DeVita declined. In 1941–1961, former GOP insider Gordon Canfield (R-Paterson) advised Kramer on that campaign. Kramer won Wegner 57%-43% in 67 of Paterson’s 92 districts by 6,000 votes. He was immediately recognized as a rising New Jersey politician and possibly governor or senator. Kramer and Davenport overthrew Passaic County Republican chairman Steve Dudiak in 1968. R. Davenport became GOP chair.

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