1982 Alabama gubernatorial election

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1982 Alabama gubernatorial election

← 1978 November 2, 1982 (1982-11-02) 1986 →
 
Nominee George Wallace Emory Folmar
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 650,538 440,815
Percentage 57.6% 39.1%

Results of the gubernatorial election by county
County results
Wallace:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Folmar:      40–50%      50–60%

Governor before election

Fob James
Democratic

Elected Governor

George Wallace
Democratic

The 1982 Alabama gubernatorial election was held on November 2, 1982, to elect the governor of Alabama. The incumbent, Fob James, declined to run for re-election, resulting in an open race. Former Democratic Governor George Wallace, who narrowly won the Democratic primary, defeated Republican Emory Folmar, the Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama.

In the Democratic primary, Wallace received challenges from Lieutenant Governor George McMillan, Speaker of the State House Joe McCorquodale, former Governor Jim Folsom, and Reuben McKinley. Because Wallace did not receive a majority of the votes, he advanced to a run-off with McMillan and then narrowly won the Democratic nomination. Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar went unchallenged for the Republican nomination.

Wallace, formerly a notorious segregationist, renounced those views in 1979. On November 2, 1982, Wallace not only won the general election, but also over 90% of the black vote.[1][2] Overall, Wallace received 650,538 (57.64%) votes against Folmar's 440,815 (39.06%) votes. Folmer was the last Alabama Republican gubernatorial nominee to have never won a gubernatorial general election.

Background[edit]

Incumbent Governor Fob James declined to seek a second term. Shortly after former Governor George Wallace survived an assassination attempt in 1972, he renounced his infamous segregationist past, especially when he stood in front of the school house door at the University of Alabama in 1963, noting that, "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." With Governor James retiring, Wallace decided to run for a fourth non-consecutive term in 1982.

Democratic primary[edit]

Incumbent Democratic Governor Fob James decided to not seek a second term.

Candidates[edit]

Primary results by county:
  Wallace
  •   30–40%
  •   40–50%
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   70–80%
  McMillan
  •   30–40%
  •   40–50%
  McCorquodale
  •   30–40%
  •   50–60%
Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George Wallace 425,469 42.53
Democratic George McMillan 296,271 29.62
Democratic Joe McCorquodale 250,614 25.05
Democratic Jim Folsom 17,333 1.73
Democratic Reuben McKinley 10,617 1.06
Total votes 1,000,304 100.00
Runoff results by county:
  Wallace
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   70–80%
  McMillan
  •   50–60%
  •   60–70%
  •   80–90%
Democratic runoff results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George Wallace 512,203 51.19
Democratic George McMillan 488,444 48.81
Total votes 1,000,647 100.00

Republican primary[edit]

Emory M. Folmar won the Republican Party primary without any opposition.

Election results[edit]

  • George Wallace (D) – 650,538 (57.64%)
  • Emory M. Folmar (R) – 440,815 (39.06%)
  • Leo Suiter (Alabama Conservative) – 17,936 (1.59%)
  • Henry Klingler (Libertarian) – 7,671 (0.68%)
  • John Jackson (Alabama National Democrat) – 4,693 (0.42%)
  • John Dyer (Prohibition) – 4,364 (0.39%)
  • Martin J. Boyers (Socialist Workers) – 2,578 (0.23%)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "George C. Wallace (1963-67, 1971-79, 1983-87)". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  2. ^ McCarthy, Colman (March 17, 1995). "George Wallace – From the Heart". Washington Post. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  3. ^ "AL Governor, 1982 - D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  4. ^ "AL Governor, 1982 - D Runoff". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 30, 2021.