Alabama gubernatorial election, 1962
|Elections in Alabama|
Alabama gubernatorial election, 1962 took place on November 6, 1962.
Democratic Party nomination
Incumbent Governor John M. Patterson was barred from seeking a second consecutive term.
- Lieutenant Governor Albert Boutwell
- Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor
- Former Governor Jim Folsom
- Attorney Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr.
- MacDonald Gallion
- J. Bruce Henderson
- Wayne Jennings
- Former Third Judicial Circuit Judge George Wallace
Among three main contenders - Folsom, DeGraffenried and Wallace, the two firsts were considered a progressive or moderate. Folsom, two-term Governor (1947-1951 & 1955-1959) was one of the first Southern chief executives who spoke out in favor of desegregation and voting rights for an African Americans and he frequently feuded from left with a conservative Legislature on a number of issues. DeGraffenried also ran as a moderate, especially on the race issues.
Wallace, who lost a close primary to Patterson in 1958, ran that year as a Folsom-style moderate (he was indeed a close Folsom ally), and even accepted official NAACP endorsement, while Patterson ran as a strong segregationist, accepting official Ku Klux Klan endorsement.
After he lost, Wallace however decided to adopt a strong segregationist stance as well in order to secure conservative votes.
In a primary, held on June 3, Wallace finished first but failed to win a majority. Folsom and DeGraffenried split moderate votes and DeGraffenried was the one, who will face Wallace in a runoff. Many believed that a controversial TV appearance, in which he appeared to be seriously drunk, cost Folsom an election.
- Wallace - 207,062 (32.49%)
- DeGraffenried - 160,704 (25.22%)
- Folsom - 159,640 (25.05%)
- Gallion - 80,374 (12.61%)
- Connor - 23,019 (3.61%)
- Henderson - 3,666 (0.58%)
- Jennings - 1,946 (0.31%)
- Boutwell - 862 (0.14%)
Wallace defeated DeGraffenried in a runoff, held on June 24:
- Wallace - 340,730 (55.87%)
- DeGraffenried - 269,122 (44.13%)
Former Lt. Governor and future U.S. Senator James B. Allen won a nomination for Lieutenant Governor.
Republican Party did not field a candidate.
Wallace sole rival was an Independent Frank P. Walls (later an Alabama Conservative congressional candidate).
As expected, Wallace won a crushing landslide: