Delegates to the First Official State Convention of the Socialist Party in Pennsylvania, Reading, PA, May 30, 1901. James Maurer sits in the middle with his hat in his lap.
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A group of men pose for a photograph, outside, in front of a building. First row of men are seated on the ground, second row are seated in chairs, and the third and fourth rows are standing.

Credit: © 2003 Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. All rights reserved.

Elected to the National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party in 1904, James Maurer ran for governor of Pennsylvania in 1906, and in 1910 became the first Socialist elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. After his victory, Maurer told the press "I am going to the Harrisburg law factory, not to raise hell, but to look at hell." In his first official act, he introduced a bill to abolish the state police, which since its creation in 1905 had earned a reputation for its brutality in the breaking of strikes.

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