L. Douglas Wilder : an American maverick a theory for future black governors

Wynne, Bradford Annan, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Fischle, Mark, University of Virginia
Sabato, Larry J., Office of the President, University of Virginia

There has only been one elected black governor in the history of the United States. Lawrence Douglas Wilder was elected in 1989 to be governor of Virginia. There have been numerous city councilmen, state senators and representatives who have been minorities, but there is less black representation the higher the political office. This thesis will analyze the gubernatorial office to assess why only one African - American has been elected governor as well as the role of race in American politics.

A new theoretical construct will be proposed in this paper that illustrates a suggested electoral strategy for black candidates running for governor. This paper is not to serve as advice for black candidates running for governor, merely a literature review combined with case studies to learn from the mistakes of the past to ensure a better future. "[T]he incorporation of blacks into the political mainstream symbolizes commitment to the principles and legitimacy of American democracy."

MA (Master of Arts)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:35:29.

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: