The Forans of Hunterdon County

Arthur Foran began his career in politics in 1916 when he worked on Walter Edge’s successful campaign for Governor. When Edge took office in 1917, he brought Foran with his to Trenton as his aide. When Foran’s fourth son was born in May 1919, he was named Walter Edge Foran in honor of his mentor, who had just taken his seat in the United States Senate. Arthur Foran went on to serve as the Mayor of Flemington and state Highway Commissioner, and in 1934 won a seat in the New Jersey State Senate. He served as Senate President in 1940. When he retired that year, his seat was won by Wesley Lance, the father of Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance. Walter Foran, known as “Moose,” served as the Hunterdon County Republican Chairman from 1961 to 1970. He was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in 1969 and was serving in the Assembly Republican leadership when he was elected to the State Senate in 1977. He took the seat of Democrat Anne Martindell, who had been nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand by President Jimmy Carter. Foran was described as an “old school statesman…an imposing figure with a congenial and persuasive manner and a quick mind.” He was 67 when he died in office in December 1986. Richard Zimmer, then serving in the Assembly, won a Special Election to fill his seat. Walter Foran’s brother was red-headed “Singing Cowboy” Dick Foran, a well-known Hollywood actor in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice polls conducted in those days showed Foran as one of the top ten cowboy film stars, along with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. He appeared in movies with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Shirley Temple. He died in 1979.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton