As the episode begins, wealthy businessman J.J. Norcross asks Hardcastle to run for mayor. Meanwhile, after city councilman Herb Austin goes head-to-head with Mann over a parks bill, a bomb explodes in the councilman's office and Austin is killed. Despite his campaign staffs assistance that he concentrate only on the election, the judge decides to look into Mann's murder. Deciding to help the judge, Mark sneaks into Mann's office and locates a map of possible park development sites. Checking out one of the marked locations, Hardcastle and McCormick discover an illegal toxic waste dump. Pursuing their investigation, Hardcastle and McCormick uncover proof that Mann had been bribed to change the site of the new park so as to cover up the illegal dumping. When Birdy Fletcher, the site's guard, asks to see him, Hardcastle realizes that he is probably being set up. As expected, Norcross, the mastermind behind the illegal operation tries to kill the judge. To Norcross' horror, a prepared Hardcastle and McCormick, turn the tables and close down the operation. In the process, Hardcastle discovers that Norcross only back his mayoral campaign so as to split the votes and give Mann the advantage. Later, although Hardcastle loses the election, he takes some comfort in the fact that Gilmore will most likely do a good job.
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