Murray Sabrin’s reference to new rival Any Unanue as “a slick playboy nightclub owner from New York City” sounds a little like the classic stump speech George Smathers reportedly delivered during his 1950 Democratic primary challenge against incumbent U.S. Senator Claude Pepper: “Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, habitually practiced celibacy.”
Another New Jersey angle: Smathers was the nephew of William Smathers, an Atlantic City Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate from 1937 to 1943.