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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with John Medlin, May 24, 1999. Interview I-0076. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Business relationship with Governor Jim Hunt

In this excerpt, Medlin briefly describes the period of adjustment that the newly elected Governor Jim Hunt, who took office in 1977, went through with North Carolina business leaders. The comparatively liberal Hunt found common ground with the more conservative businessmen.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with John Medlin, May 24, 1999. Interview I-0076. 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

JOSEPH MOSNIER:
Here's an interesting question that has sort of been suggested by some of these things, I hadn't thought about this before, but you mentioned that folks coming in from outside bring a certain new diversity to the culture that has traditionally prevailed in say the business community. I'm wondering if there was as you measured it early on the relationship with Jim Hunt, he's quite a young Governor. He was a young man when he was elected Governor, a Democrat obviously. Was there some period during which young new Governor Jim Hunt had to work out a relationship with this group of twenty in the one instance you mentioned senior business leaders? Were you all on the same page or was there some time that you sort of had to navigate to get to know one another?
JOHN MEDLIN:
We had to navigate to get to know one another. I think he was, to use a word that doesn't describe things very well, he was more liberal, and they tended to be more conservative. Despite the fact that most of us were Democrats, there were a few, well Paul Sticht who came from somewhere else outside the state was a Republican. There were some Republicans on the Council, and I think it was good for everyone. We had to get to know each other. I think Jim Hunt became more realistic. I don't think about certain things, taxation and regulation and so forth. I think some of the business people became more sensitive about some of the human issues. I think there was a coming together on some of this. Not that they weren't concerned. I think the Governor got enlightened that business people were concerned about human issues just as much as perhaps he was in some cases. But the best way to deal with human issues is to have jobs and income and so forth too, rather than the welfare satisfaction of human needs.