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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975. Interview B-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Partisan politics and consolidation

Ward discusses the effect of partisan politics on the effort to consolidate Mecklenburg County. Arguing that it was commonly believed that consolidation would shift political power more decisively into the hands of Democrats, Ward suggests that for representatives on the charter commission from small towns, such as himself, the bigger issue was whether or not consolidation could benefit outlying areas of the community.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975. Interview B-0072. 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

What about the partisan situation? You were quoted, I believe, as saying, that, if you voted the charter, the Democrats would be spotted probably a majority on the new government. You think this was a factor? Were most Republicans and were Republicans more likely to be opposed than were the Democrats? Was this a major factor?
WILLIAM I. WARD, JR.:
Yes. Without a doubt the Republicans, by and large, felt that they would be left out in this ward system that was created. The Republicans…Their heavy vote has come out of southeastern Charlotte. Of course, they would pick up so many seats out of that. Of course, they are forever lost in the so-called black wards that would have been created, perhaps out of proportion to their representation in the entire system. Anyway, it seemed that the thing was structured against the Republicans. I didn't recall that I said that, and I attempted to stay out of the partisan aspects of it. Primarily I did because I was on there as a member from Davidson. We small town representatives were also-rans anyhow on the Charter Commission. We were on there at sufferance of the others, I felt. We wereN't genuine members of the commission because we were all out of proportion. There were five of us on there really for a very small population. Some of us represented towns as small as 7 or 800 people. Davidson was a little larger.
WILLIAM (BILL) MOYE:
Do you think that consolidation will come up again?
WILLIAM I. WARD, JR.:
Oh. yes.
WILLIAM (BILL) MOYE:
Try again?
WILLIAM I. WARD, JR.:
Yes, sir.