45 Years Ago This Month: The Lester Maddox Gubernatorial Election - Flash Back - Atlanta Magazine
 
 

Flash Back: Pivotal events from the past five decades

45 Years Ago This Month: The Lester Maddox Gubernatorial Election

November 1966


In the Georgia Gubernatorial Election of November 1966, Lester Maddox rode a wave of resentment over the advancement of the civil rights movement and finished in a virtual tie with Republican millionaire Bo Callaway. Neither candidate won a majority due to former Governor Ellis Arnall’s third-party candidacy. After some wrangling in the courts, the Democrat-controlled Georgia legislature selected Maddox as the winner.

Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Lacking political connections and a campaign infrastructure, Maddox simply outworked the competition. He covered the state in his Pontiac station wagon, shaking hands and distributing American flags, bumper stickers, and bubble gum to enthusiastic supporters. Maddox was a seasoned campaigner (he’d run unsuccessfully three times before), yet he boasted of his political inexperience: “God,” he said, was his campaign manager. Actually, it was his brother, Wesley.

Maddox’s opponent in the general election was textile heir Bo Callaway, a recent Republican convert in the mold of Barry Goldwater. The two conservative candidates ran neck and neck. Disenchanted liberals backed Arnall as a write-in candidate, which threw the election into the hands of Maddox’s Democratic allies in the legislature.

Many Georgians were horrified that the pistol-waving eccentric who chased away black ministers from his segregated chicken restaurant, the Pickrick, could become governor. His election also worried Atlanta’s business elite. But Maddox’s rural, blue-collar supporters were elated.

Maddox’s unlikely candidacy hinged on a number of factors, but what swept him into office (for only one term) was the electorate’s unease with the pace of integration and his own folksy charm as champion of the little guy. His racial demagoguery overshadowed his conservative stance on moral values and government intrusion into private enterprise, two issues that have dominated national politics in the decades since.

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. jeccica posted on 05/09/2014 12:31 AM
    Finding a bounded shoe adjustment or fake designer handbags bag adjustment boutique can allay your worries and generally accommodate answers for your backpack anxiety. Bounded bag and shoe adjustment shops replate accouterments to awning flaws, like metal cracks and abysmal scratches. Covering conditioning chrism is a abundant investment purchased from a shoe adjustment boutique and helps to advance the actualization of a covering handbag. Acquirement a aloof shoe brightness to add a little flash to any blush covering handbag.immy Choo is a affluence covering cast based in London; the cast is a lot of acclaimed for affluence shoes. Apart from beautiful and wearable shoes, the abode of Jimmy Choo designer replica handbags is aswell accomplished at authoritative alluring handbags with absolute top quality. Jimmy Choo at popularhandbags.co.uk .accoutrements bearish accommodated appearance customers' needs and accumulate up with acid bend appearance trend. Actually, Jimmy Choo is accustomed as a customer-oriented cast that incorporates a lot of avant-garde designs and styles in their accoutrements to amuse their common customers.
showing all comments