1962 Georgia gubernatorial election

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1962 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary

← 1958 September 12, 1962 1966 →
  Carl Sanders.jpg Marvingriffin (cropped).gif
Nominee Carl Sanders Marvin Griffin
Party Democratic Democratic
Popular vote 494,978 332,746
Percentage 58.07% 39.04%

County Results
Sanders:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%
Griffin:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%

Governor before election

Ernest Vandiver

Elected Governor

Carl Sanders

The 1962 Georgia gubernatorial election was held on November 6, 1962.

Carl Sanders won the Democratic primary on September 12 with 58.07% of the vote, defeating former Governor Marvin Griffin. At this time, Georgia was a one-party state, and the Democratic nomination was tantamount to victory. Sanders won the November general election without an opponent.

This election was notable for a number of reasons. First, it was the last Georgia gubernatorial election to date where the Republican Party did not field a candidate. Second, the primary election was the first that took place under a winner-take-all system, as the previously used County Unit System had been struck down by the US Supreme Court in Gray v. Sanders.[1] Finally, upon election, Carl Sanders became the youngest governor of a state at the time (aged 37) and the first governor from an urban area since the 1920s.[2] He beat former Governor Marvin Griffin in the Democratic primary.

Democratic primary[edit]


  • Marvin Griffin, former Governor of Georgia (1955–59)
  • Cecil L. Langham
  • Hoke O'Kelley, perennial candidate
  • Carl Sanders, State Senator from Augusta and President pro tempore of the Georgia Senate
  • Grace Wilkey Thomas, candidate for Governor in 1954 and desegregationist[3]


1962 Democratic primary[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carl Sanders 494,978 58.07%
Democratic Marvin Griffin 332,746 39.04%
Democratic Grace Wilkey Thomas 12,579 1.48%
Democratic Hoke O'Kelley 8,728 1.02%
Democratic Cecil L. Langham 3,319 0.39%
Total votes 852,350 100.00%

General election results[edit]

1962 Georgia gubernatorial election[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Carl Sanders 311,524 99.95% Decrease0.05
N/A write-ins 167 0.05% Increase0.05
Total votes 311,691 100.00%