Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ferrel Guillory, December 11, 1973. Interview A-0123. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Both traditional Republicans and disenchanted Democrats vote GOP

Guillory describes a divide he sees in the Republican Party: traditional Republicans versus disenchanted Democrats. The latter join the Republican Party because they want to preserve the social status quo.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ferrel Guillory, December 11, 1973. Interview A-0123. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

I think if a Democrat would have been elected you obviously wouldn't had the political the seeming political turmoil that at least appears to be enveloped . . . .. . . ..I think a lot of the fights would have been on the issues themselves as opposed to on whether he's a Republican, of course and all that kind of stuff. I think Bowles would have given a different tone to the government under Bowles, but I don't think it would have been the same tone as Bob Scott but it would have been different from what Holshouser has made it. Now Holshouser-in my columns and everything I have probably been fairly kind to him from this perspective-if you are going to have a Republican you might as well have one like him. I sense a sort of tension within the Republican Party of the State. Nobody admits to it, but it is sort of a tension between the bedrock Republicans (Holshouser from the mountains, you know, came up through his father was a Republican and his grandfather was, I suppose; and his grandfather before that). So you have that sort of oldtime traditional Republican. Then you've got the suburban Republicans who split between the two camps that I'm getting ready to describe. And then you've got the disenchanted Democrat types that Frank Rouse talked about. Frank Rouse particularly wanted to attract to the party. I think the suburbanites sometimes split between these two camps. There is some suburbanites, you know, Frank Rouse types and some suburbanites do themselves more of the traditional public types, many of them have moved here from the North (I don't know how many numbers). Anyway, I sort of sense a tension within the party over whether the party is going to be a party of Democrats who don't like what the Democratic Party has to offer and who have come to the Republican Party because they feel the Republican Party is more in line with their .. frankly I think they come from the Republican Party because they feel the Republican Party will maintain the social status quo as opposed to a political status quo. Holshouser on the other hand, the way he has acted, leads me to believe that he sees the way to build a party is by running a fairly decent state government, one that keeps things in order, that doesn't cause a lot of trouble, that keeps away from as much scandal as it can, that dispenses the goodies around, Mental Health gets it share, parks gets it share, ports gets its share, teachers get their share. You know he sort of runs a fairly clean ship, he gets business folks together and they run an efficiency study and he is out there for efficiency and he will put into effect some of the things that are in the report. He'll be very honest about supporting the Board of Governors in a fight even though it might lose him a lot of supporties, he's in favor of that type of government organization. Good government have afford to set the priorities and all of that. Frank Rouse would ask, "Who else can we get party leader to build up the party from? If its not giving Democrats to switch over." He might be right, but there is a way of approaching that quest as I see as different, so on the one hand you've got Jessie Helms approach though I don't think Jesse is really interested in building a party and all of that very much. He's the theology type and really not all involved in party affairs. And you've got the Holshouser type proven so the people of the Helms wing..