1978 Alabama gubernatorial election

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1978 Alabama gubernatorial election

← 1974 November 7, 1978 1982 →
  Reagan Contact Sheet C1331 (cropped2) (cropped).jpg HGuyHunt.JPG
Nominee Fob James Guy Hunt
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 551,786 196,963
Percentage 72.6% 25.9%

Alabama Governor 1978.svg
County results
James:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%      >90%
Hunt:      50-60%      60-70%

Governor before election

George Wallace

Elected Governor

Fob James

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.

Democratic primary[edit]



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.

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Fob James 256,196 28.47
Democratic Bill Baxley 210,089 23.35
Democratic Albert Brewer 193,479 21.50
Democratic Sid McDonald 143,930 15.99
Democratic Jere Beasley 77,202 8.58
Democratic K.C. Foster 4,948 0.55
Democratic Horace Howell 4,730 0.53
Democratic Jim Folsom 4,632 0.52
Democratic Bob Muncaster 1,776 0.20
Democratic Shorty Price 1,396 0.16
Democratic Charles Woods 700 0.08
Democratic Fred Sandefer 622 0.07
Democratic Cornelia Wallace 217 0.02
Total votes 899,917 100

Republican primary[edit]


General Election[edit]


  • Fob James (Democratic), 72.6%
  • Guy Hunt (Republican), 25.9%
  • Jim Partain (Prohibition), 1.1%
  • Richard Dare (Independent), 0.5%

Fob James won all but two counties: Cullman, where Hunt had been Probate Judge; and Winston, a traditionally Republican stronghold.[2]


  1. ^ "Alabama Governors: Forrest Hood (Fob) James, Jr". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Source for Popular Vote data: Alabama Secretary of State. Governor - 1978 Election, Alabama Secretary of State". Alabama Secretary of State. Archived from the original on June 10, 2007. Retrieved July 23, 2014.

External links[edit]