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Alabama gubernatorial election, 1958

The Alabama gubernatorial election of 1958 was held on November 3.


  • Democratic Party nomination 1
    • Primary results 1.1
    • Runoff 1.2
  • Republican Party nomination 2
  • General election 3
  • References 4

Democratic Party nomination

At this time Alabama was de facto one-party state. Because of this, every Democratic Party nominee was considered safe for election. The real contest for governor took place during this party primaries.

Incumbent popular Governor of Alabama Jim Folsom, a racial moderate, was barred from seeking second term. This leave primary in an open contest.


Two front-runners - Patterson and Wallace, hold a deeply different positions on the racial segregation issues. While Patterson, known primary as crime-fighting attorney general, ran on a very segregationist platform and accepted an official endorsement from Ku Klux Klan, Wallace, a close ally of Folsom, refused to cooperate with KKK and was endorsed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Primary results

Primaries held on June 3, 1958.

  • Patterson - 196,859 (31.82%)
  • Wallace - 162,435 (26.26%)
  • Faulkner - 91,512 (14.79%)
  • Todd - 59,240 (9.58%)
  • Battle - 38,955 (6.30%)
  • Hawkins - 24,332 (3.93%)
  • Owen - 15,270 (2.47%)
  • Harrison - 12,488 (2.02%)
  • Walker - 7,963 (1.29%)
  • Dodd - 4,753 (0.77%)
  • Crommelin - 2,245 (0.36%)
  • Elebash - 1,177 (0.19%)
  • Gulatte - 798 (0.13%)
  • Price - 655 (0.11%)


The run-off primary was held on June 24, 1958.

Because no one of candidates won majority (over 50%) runoff was to be determined which of two top candidates will won nomination.

  • Patterson - 315,353 (55.74%)
  • Wallace - 250,451 (44.27%)

Republican Party nomination

William Longshore, a former Republican Party nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 9th district (lost, winning 34.12% votes) won the gubernatorial nomination unopposed.

General election

  • John Malcolm Patterson (Democratic) - 234,583 (88.22%)
  • William Longshore (Republican) - 30,415 (11.44%)
  • William Jackson (Independent) - 903 (0.34%)

After his defeat, George Wallace, who was a racial moderate, modified his public position in order to gain the white support necessary to win the next election.


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