The 1978 Alabama gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 1978, to elect the Governor of Alabama. Incumbent Democratic Governor George Wallace did not run for re-election. Fob James, a businessman who had switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and campaigned as a "born-again Democrat", won the Democratic primary in an upset over Attorney General Bill Baxley. He went on to defeat Guy Hunt in a landslide in the general election. Incumbent Democrat George Wallace was term limited and could not seek a third consecutive term.
Despite entering the race as a former Republican with low name identification and little political experience, by the time of the primary, James led Baxley, Beasley, and Brewer, who were considered the main contenders, in the polls. James placed first in the primary, followed by Baxley. Fob James then won the primary runoff against Bill Baxley.