It has given me a great deal of concern that, in view of your having been generous enough to consult me with regard to the advisability of your becoming a candidate for the nomination for Governor at the primaries, it was clearly incumbent upon me to form and express an opinion. I felt, as I explained to you at the time you requested my opinion, that your desire to know my judgment forced me to make a practical political choice as between friends, friends who had been of great service to me personally as well as to the public in the political contests of the past two years. But there was nothing else for it, and I yesterday told Mr. Grosscup, as had been agreed, what my judgment was. It is that we ought to support Mr. Fielder’s candidacy.
Fielder backed me so consistently, so intelligently, so frankly and honestly throughout my administration and has followed, on the whole, so consistent a course that I feel I would have no ground whatever upon which to oppose his candidacy. My analysis of the political situation in New Jersey makes me feel that a three–cornered fight would be most unwise and that, probably, in such a fight your own strength would not be great enough to count decisively.
I cannot state this conclusion without also saying to you how greatly I have admired the course you have pursued from time to time and the stand you have taken for the rights of the people. Moreover, your generous friendship for myself and your aid, again and again rendered in effective fashion, have won not only my admiration but my deep appreciation. I am sure that you will not think the conclusion I have come to as the leader of the party is in any way a subtraction from my cordial personal regard or from my acknowledgment of the distinguished services which you have rendered the party.
Hon. Otto Wittpenn,Belmar, New Jersey.