Alabama gubernatorial election, 1962
|Elections in Alabama|
The 1962 Alabama gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 1962.
Democratic Party nomination
Incumbent Governor John M. Patterson was barred from seeking a second consecutive term.
- Albert Boutwell, Lieutenant Governor
- Bull Connor, Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner
- Jim Folsom, former Governor
- Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr., State Representative
- MacDonald Gallion, Attorney General
- J. Bruce Henderson
- Wayne Jennings
- George Wallace, former Circuit Judge and former State Representative
Among three main contenders – Folsom, DeGraffenried and Wallace – the former two were considered to be progressive or moderate. Folsom, who served as Governor from 1947 to 1951 and again from 1955 to 1959, was one of the first Southern chief executives who spoke out in favor of desegregation and voting rights for an African Americans, which led to him frequently clashing with the 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 received the official NAACP endorsement, while Patterson ran as a strong segregationist, accepting the official Ku Klux Klan endorsement.
After he lost in 1958, Wallace adopted a strong segregationist stance as well in order to secure votes.
In the primary, held on June 3, Wallace finished first but failed to win a majority. Folsom and DeGraffenried split the moderate vote, and DeGraffenried, as the second-place finisher, faced Wallace in the runoff. Many believed that a controversial TV appearance, in which Folsom appeared to be seriously drunk, cost him the election.
|Democratic||Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr.||160,704||25.22|
|Democratic||J. Bruce Henderson||3,666||0.58|
Wallace defeated DeGraffenried in the runoff, held on June 24.
|Democratic||Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr.||269,122||44.13|
The Republican Party did not field a candidate.
Wallace's sole rival was Frank P. Walls, an independent who was later an Alabama Conservative Party congressional candidate.
As expected, Wallace won in a landslide: