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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Race as a powerful electoral issue in the South

In a brief passage that expresses the power of race in the post-<cite>Brown</cite> South, Heflin notes that he got a lot of votes in his race for state Supreme Court from conservative white voters who disliked his opponent's antisegregation record. A Democrat, Heflin also received votes from black voters.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
Among the people who urged you to run, was Patterson's record on segregation as governor an issue?
HOWELL HEFLIN:
It was with some. I ended up with support from all groups. I would think that a sizeable group who were anti-Patterson from racial matters urged me to run. At the same time I had extremely conservative vote. I ended up in Mobile, which is unusual, with almost every element and segment of society and economic life supporting me. And Mobile is largely, they say, is largely a ticket area. So I ended up with rabid segregationists and I ended up with the black vote. So. . . occasionally. . . it wasn't a race in which that was primarily an issue. But I'd say it was a significant issue among those that were opposed to Patterson's segregation record. And a great number of those asked me to run.