Patterson: 50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90% >90%
|Elections in Alabama|
The Alabama gubernatorial election of 1958 was held on November 3, 1958. Incumbent Democrat Jim Folsom was term limited and could not seek a second consecutive term.
Popular incumbent Governor Jim Folsom, a racial moderate, was barred from running for reelection, as Governors could not succeed themselves at the time. Therefore, the Democratic primary was an open contest.
- Laurie C. Battle, U.S. Representative
- John G. Crommelin, retired Rear Admiral
- W.E. Dodd
- Shearen Elebash
- Jimmy Faulkner, former State Senator and former Mayor of Bay Minette
- James Gulatte
- Karl Harrison
- George C. Hawkins, State Representative
- C.C. Owen
- John Malcolm Patterson, Attorney General
- Shorty Price
- A.W. Todd, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries
- Billy Walker
- George Wallace, Third Judicial Circuit Judge and former State Representative
The two front-runners, Patterson and Wallace, held deeply different positions on racial segregation issues. While Patterson, known primarily as crime-fighting attorney general, ran on a very segregationist platform and accepted an official endorsement from Ku Klux Klan, Wallace, a close ally of Folsom, refused to cooperate with the KKK and was endorsed by the NAACP.
Primaries were held on June 3, 1958.
|Democratic||John Malcolm Patterson||196,859||31.82|
|Democratic||Laurie C. Battle||38,955||6.30|
|Democratic||George C. Hawkins||24,332||3.93|
|Democratic||John G. Crommelin||2,245||0.36|
Because none of candidates won a majority, a runoff was held on June 24, 1958, in order to determine which candidate received the nomination.
|Democratic||John Malcolm Patterson||315,353||55.74|
|Democratic||John Malcolm Patterson||234,583||88.22|
After his defeat, George Wallace, who was a racial moderate, modified his public position in order to gain the white support necessary to win the next election.