Arkansas gubernatorial election, 1966
|Elections in Arkansas|
The same year, during a midterm election, Republicans made some gains in the traditionally Democratic southern stronghold – including winning the governorship in Florida (also first time since Reconstruction), and narrowly losing the gubernatorial race in Georgia (when a GOP candidate won a plurality, but the Democratic-controlled legislature selected their own candidate).
Popular and powerful six-term (since 1955) incumbent Orval E. Faubus decided against seeking re-election. "Justice Jim" Johnson, a political ally of George C. Wallace of Alabama, ran a segregationist campaign with support of the White Citizens Council. A decade earlier, Johnson had run in the Democratic primary against Faubus, another segregationist, whom he accused of working behind the scenes for racial integration.
- Thomas Dale Alford, former U.S. Representative and candidate for Governor in 1962
- Sam Boyce, attorney
- Brooks Hays, former U.S. Representative and candidate for Governor in 1930
- Frank Holt, State Supreme Court Associate Justice
- James D. "Justice Jim" Johnson, State Supreme Court Associate Justice and candidate for Governor in 1956
- Raymond Rebsamen, insurance executive and Ford dealer
- Kenneth S. Sulcer, State Senator
|Democratic||James D. Johnson||105,607||25.14|
|Democratic||Thomas Dale Alford||53,531||12.74|
|Democratic||Kenneth S. Sulcer||18,051||4.30|
|Democratic||James D. Johnson||210,543||51.86|
A northeastern native, multimillionaire and scion of a prominent political/business family Winthrop Rockefeller was nominated with over 96% of the vote over Gus McMillan of Sheridan. Charges abounded that McMillan, a lifelong Democrat, was planted in the race by Faubus in order to force the Republicans to hold an expensive and needless primary. Rockefeller had been the GOP nominee in the 1964 election.
Rockefeller was an unusual candidate – an eastern establishment member and moderate-to-liberal party wing member (such as his brother, Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, an unofficial leader of this wing for many years).
The Republican Party at this time practically played only a most minor role in Arkansas politics.
However, his popularity and the break within Democratic camp, where many were outraged with Johnson's segregationist stances, and good year for the Republicans nationally helped Rockefeller to win.
|Democratic||James D. Johnson||257,203||45.64|