Chapter

Fused but Not Healed

Chris Danielson

in After Freedom Summer

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037387
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042350 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037387.003.0005
Fused but Not Healed

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This chapter details Cliff Finch's election as governor in 1975 and his successful integration of the Democratic Party afterward. Finch did this largely to counter the rising influence of the Republican Party, which itself was fielding candidates but also undergoing an internal debate over the viability of the black vote. The political fusion of the party brought black political leaders to new heights of influence, but in a party still dominated by white Democrats. The rise of black Democratic influence paralleled the decline of black independent candidacies. The black independent candidate could still play the spoiler, as Charles Evers did in the 1978 senate race, when he threw the election to the Republican Thad Cochran. Such events highlighted the fragility of fusion and its unresolved internal weaknesses.

Keywords: fusion; party integration; Republican Party; Democratic Party; Mississippi

Chapter.  10911 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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