An ‘integrationist’ GOP candidate for governor in ’64?

“In the [1964] North Carolina governor’s race, approximately 97 percent of black voters preferred segregationist Democrat Dan K. Moore to his integrationist Republican opponent, Robert L. Gavin. As Gavin explained, ‘This I believe was because of the determination of the Negro race to defeat our [Goldwater-Miller] national ticket.’ ”

– From “Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party” by Geoffrey Kabaservice (2012) 

As a two-time gubernatorial candidate in the early ’60s, Gavin may have qualified as a situational moderate — but “integrationist”?

Rob Christensen notes in “The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics” that when running against Terry Sanford in 1960, Gavin had “said if the Democrats were elected, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell  — the only black in Congress — would try to integrate every public school in North Carolina.”

 

 

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