1946 Governor's Race Explained
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Eugene Talmadge was elected to his 4th term as governor in November 1946. However, his collegues were noticing his loss in concentration, he was making mistakes, and he had an unusual look on his face. His colleagues didn't know yet but Eugene was in the later stages of cirrhosus due to his long life of hard drinking.
While Eugene Talmadge is suffering from Cirrhosis, Eugene's colleagues start to call on voters to vote for Eugene Talmadge's son, Herman Talmadge, if Eugene couldn't make it through his next term of governor.
Eugene Talmadge died on December 21, 1946, from Cirrhosus. On this huge topic at the time, began a debate about who would take Eugene Talmadge's place as governor. This later became one of the biggest embarrassments Georgia has gotten themselves into.
After much debate, the Georgia State Committee decided to put Herman Talmadge in office because he had the second most votes. People such as Melvin Thompson and Ellis Arnall did not agree with this decision. Herman Talmadge's breaking point was his segregationist believes.
Thank you everyone that voted me into the governor office and I appreciate your help (even if it was fraudulent)!
Ellis Arnall and Melvin Thompson did not agree with the decision of granting governor to Herman Talmadge. After the decision, Ellis Arnall refused to leave office and Melvin Thompson started a court case challenging the legislature's decision to select Herman Talmadge as governor.
In the end, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Melvin Thompson was governor until a special election could be held in 1948. Then, in 1948, Herman Talmadge was elected by the people in the special election. This whole debacle came out to a huge state embarrassment and it was concerning at this point in time that we could not find out who our governor would be. Gladly, we finally solved it but the election of 1946 will go down in the history books as a big disappointment.
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