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1958 Georgia gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1958 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary

← 1954 September 10, 1958 1962 →
Ernest Vandiver (1962).jpg
Nominee Ernest Vandiver William Bodenhamer Lee Roy Abernathy
Party Democratic Democratic Democratic
Electoral vote 400 10 0
Popular vote 499,477 87,830 33,099
Percentage 80.51% 14.16% 5.34%

Georgia Governor Election Results by County, 1958.svg
County Results
Vandiver:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%      >90%
Bodenhamer:      50-60%

Governor before election

Marvin Griffin

Elected Governor

Ernest Vandiver

The 1958 Georgia gubernatorial election was held on November 4, 1958.

Lieutenant Governor Ernest Vandiver won the Democratic primary on September 10 with 80.51% of the vote and 400 out of 410 county unit votes. At this time, Georgia was a one-party state, and the Democratic nomination was tantamount to victory. Vandiver won the November general election without an opponent.

Democratic primary



Bodenhamer ran a "biblical segregationist" campaign[1] aligned with incumbent Governor Marvin Griffin, whom Vandiver had alienated during their term together.[2] He opened his campaign by showing pictures of Vandiver between two Negro politicians and said, "Birds of a feather flock together."[2] He accused Vandiver of being "the candidate of the NAACP."[1] Vandiver responded by promising that "no, not one" black would be admitted to Georgia's white schools.[1]

Lee Roy Abernaty, a gospel singer from Canton who frequently appeared on Atlanta television, also ran on a platform promising to diminish the powers of the governor and make monthly television reports to the people of Georgia.[2]


1962 Democratic primary[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ernest Vandiver 499,477 80.51%
Democratic William T. Bodenhamer 87,830 14.16%
Democratic Lee Roy Abernathy 33,099 5.34%
Democratic All others (write-in) 3 0.00%
Total votes 620,409 100.00%

In the decisive county unit count, Vandiver won 400 out of 410 votes, with Bodenhamer winning the remaining ten.[4] This was the last primary election held under the county unit rule, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in Gray v. Sanders.

General election results

1958 Georgia gubernatorial election[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ernest Vandiver 168,414 100.00%


  1. ^ a b c d "The Georgia Baptist Convention and Desegregation, 1945–80". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 83 (4): 697. Winter 1999.
  2. ^ a b c The Madera Tribune. 8 Sep 1858. p. 6. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Compiled by Mrs. Mary Givens Bryan, Director (1958). Georgia's Official Register, 1957-1958. Atlanta, GA: State of Georgia, Department of Archives and History. p. 728.
  5. ^
  6. ^
This page was last edited on 19 January 2021, at 01:29
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