1970 Alabama gubernatorial election
The Alabama gubernatorial election of 1970 was marked by a competitive Democratic primary battle between incumbent moderate Governor Albert Brewer and segregationist former Governor and 1968 independent presidential candidate George Wallace. The Alabama Constitution was amended in 1968, allowing a governor to serve two consecutive terms.
Wallace: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90% >90%
Cashin 40–50% 50–60% 60–70%
- Albert Brewer, incumbent Governor
- Coleman Brown
- Asa Carter, Ku Klux Klan leader and former Wallace speechwriter
- Jim Folsom, former Governor
- Ralph "Shorty" Price, perennial candidate
- George Wallace, former Governor
- Charles Woods, businessman
Despite Wallace's popularity, Brewer was seen as an early front-runner. Brewer, who had been elected lieutenant governor in 1966, had become governor after the death of Governor Lurleen Wallace, George's wife. A moderate, he became the first gubernatorial candidate since Reconstruction to openly court black voters. Brewer, hoping to build a broad alliance between blacks and white working class voters, unveiled a progressive platform and accused Wallace of spending too much time outside the state, saying "Alabama needs a full-time governor.".
Republican President Richard Nixon endorsed Brewer in order to break Wallace's political career and secure Deep South votes for himself in the next presidential election (which could be carried again by Wallace, if he were to run again).
Wallace, whose presidential ambitions would have been destroyed with a defeat, ran a very aggressive and dirty campaign using racist rhetoric while proposing few ideas of his own. The Wallace campaign aired TV ads with slogans such as "Do you want the black block electing your governor?" and circulated an ad showing a white girl surrounded by seven black boys, with the slogan "Wake Up Alabama! Blacks vow to take over Alabama." Wallace called Brewer a sissy and promised not to run for president a third time.
|Democratic||Albert Brewer (incumbent)||428,146||41.98|
Despite Brewer's victory in the first round, he failed to win a majority and was forced into a runoff with Wallace.
|Democratic||Albert Brewer (incumbent)||525,951||48.44|
At the time, the Democratic primary in Alabama was regarded as more important than the general election, as Alabama was still essentially a one-party state. The Republican Party did not field a candidate, and Wallace easily won the general election.
|NDPA||John L. Cashin, Jr.||125,491||14.68|
|Prohibition||Jerome B. Couch||9,705||1.14|
|Independent||Menter G. Walker||3,534||0.41|
- Rogers, William Warren, et al. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State. Tuscaloosa; The University of Alabama Press, 1994, 576.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Flowers, Steve, "Steve Flowers Inside the Statehouse", October 12, 2005
- Warren, 576
- http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/060305/wallace.shtml[permanent dead link] Rawls, Phillip, "Book Rates George Wallace's '70 campaign as the nastiest", Decatur Daily, March 5, 2006
- Rawls, March 5, 2005
- Flowers, 2005