Electoral Change and Regime Maintenance: Maynard Jackson's Second Time Around

Document Type


Publication Date



Maynard Jackson's return to the mayoralty of Atlanta in 1990 suggests the stability of an electoral coalition that rivals the well-documented durability of what Clarence Stone (1989) refers to as the governing regime in Atlanta. Jackson's initial two terms as mayor were followed by Andrew Young's two terms (the city charter prohibits more than two consecutive terms in office). Jackson's landslide victory in 1989 was described as more of a coronation than an election. While both Jackson and Young appear to have maintained dominant electoral coalitions, subtle changes within those coalitions may portend more dramatic electoral changes and, indeed, could modify the governing regime. There is little doubt that blacks will remain dominant in citywide elections; however, subtle racial undertones and other socioeconomic cleavages may be precipitating shifts in electoral coalitions that could, in turn, change the posture of the governing regime. The 1989 election itself suggests some of the undercurrents of change in the electorate; these changes are subtle, but perceptible.