The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)
Civic and Political Career
Civic and Political Career.
After many attempts Mr. Sullivan was elected to the Christchurch City Council in 1915. In 1931 he was elected Mayor, and in 1933 he again won the Mayoralty by a great majority of over 8000 votes. In 1935 a most determined attempt was made by the opponents of Labour to defeat him. The effort failed, Mr. Sullivan triumphed, and he was, in a personal sense, placed in a stronger position than ever.
Coincidently wit his personal and overwhelming gains of public confidence a Parliamentary career no less spectacular was commenced in 1919, when he defeated the Hon. G. W. Russell for the Avon constituency. At every election since then he was re-elected with an increased majority. From the time he first appeared on the horizon of public life in Christchurch he has gained the growing affection of his supporters and the respect of his opponents. His simple and straightforward manner and unfailing courtesy, his singleness of purpose in honestly serving the community, the clear, practical constructive application of his principles to the needs of life, his ability and tireless energy, all suffused with the enthusiasm of a youthful heart, have gained for him the solid regard of his countrymen.