All The Governor's Men
Georgia had its own controversial election for
Chief Executive, reminiscent of the seemingly never-ending presidential
election of December 2000: the Governor's election of 1946.
With more twists, intrigue, and political chicanery than any work of
fiction, the 1946 election led to three men simultaneously claiming the
title of Governor of Georgia. Eugene Talmadge was elected, but he died
before the inauguration. The Lt. Gov.-elect, M.E. Thompson, believed he
would be the new governor until the next general election, but Gene
Talmadge supporters used ambiguous wording in the Georgia Constitution
to install Herman Talmadge, Eugene's son, as governor. Incumbent
governor, Ellis Arnall, considered Herman a "pretender" to the
governorship and refused to leave office until a proper successor was
And so, Georgia's "Three Governors" controversy was born. The State
Supreme Court resolved the issue when it removed Herman Talmadge and
named Thompson acting Governor. A later investigation revealed that a
mysterious number of the Telfair County write-in votes for Herman
Talmadge were cast in alphabetical order, many by dead people!
The "Three Governors" controversy has now been dramatized for radio
in a production written by Edgar award-winning author Walter Sorrells
that features actual recordings of the main protagonists balanced with
re-created scenes and music from the period.