James B. Hunt Papers 1971-1997

Creator
Hunt, James B., 1937-
Size
84.7 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00003
Access to materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Use copies of videotapes, film, or audiotapes must be made prior to patron viewing or listening.

The James B. Hunt Papers, 1971-1997, include videotapes, films, audiotapes, photographs, correspondence, news clippings, ad slicks, position papers, advertisement scripts, cue sheets, stickers, buttons, and brochures relating to the political campaigns of James Baxter Hunt Jr., who was a four-term Democratic governor of North Carolina, 1977-1985 and 1993-2001. The largest portion of the collection is the videotapes, which feature television advertisements produced for Hunt’s campaigns, debate preparation sessions, debates, and television news broadcasts about the campaigns. The bulk of these materials document Hunt’s unsuccessful 1984 bid to unseat Republican Jesse Helms as United States Senator from North Carolina and the 1992 gubernatorial campaign, in which Hunt defeated Republican James Gardner. Also included is material relating to his 1996 gubernatorial campaign, and some material from the 1976 and 1980 gubernatorial campaigns. Not included are any materials specifically documenting Hunt’s official acts as governor.

James Baxter Hunt, Jr. (1937- ) was Democratic governor of North Carolina, 1977-1985 and 1993-2001. After serving as Lieutenant Governor from 1973 to 1977, he served two terms as Governor, 1977-1981 and 1981-1985. In 1984 he waged an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Republican Jesse Helms as United States Senator from North Carolina. The closely contested race, which Helms eventually won with 52% of the vote, garnered national attention as both sides engaged in negative campaigning, some of which centered on Hunt’s support for (and Helms’s opposition to) the recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The campaign ultimately cost a combined $22 million, making it the most expensive Senate race in American history to that point. Hunt returned to elected office in 1993, winning a third term as Governor by defeating Republican Lieutenant Governor James C. Gardner. In 1996 he was elected to a fourth term over Republican state Representative Robin Hayes. Hunt left office in 2001.

Biographical/historical note

James Baxter Hunt, Jr. (1937- ) was Democratic governor of North Carolina, 1977-1985 and 1993-2001. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education and a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from North Carolina State University, where he served two terms as student body president, as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After serving as Lieutenant Governor from 1973 to 1977, Hunt served two terms as Governor, 1977-1981 and 1981-1985. In 1984 he waged an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Republican Jesse Helms as United States Senator from North Carolina. The closely contested race, which Helms eventually won with 52% of the vote, garnered national attention as both sides engaged in negative campaigning, some of which centered on Hunt’s support for (and Helms’s opposition to) the recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The campaign ultimately cost a combined $22 million, making it the most expensive Senate race in American history to that point. Hunt returned to elected office in 1992, winning a third term as Governor by defeating Republican Lieutenant Governor James C. Gardner. In 1996 he was elected to a fourth term over Republican state Representative Robin Hayes. Hunt left office in 2001.

After he left the governorship, Hunt joined the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, in Raleigh. As of 2006, he and his wife, Carolyn, lived on their beef cattle farm in eastern North Carolina. They had four children and ten grandchildren.

Scope/content

The James B. Hunt Papers, 1971-1997, include videotapes, films, audiotapes, photographs, correspondence, news clippings, ad slicks, position papers, advertisement scripts, cue sheets, stickers, buttons, and brochures relating to the political campaigns of James Baxter Hunt Jr., who was a four-term Democratic governor of North Carolina, 1977-1985 and 1993-2001. The largest portion of the collection is the videotapes, which feature television advertisements produced for Hunt’s campaigns, debate preparation sessions, debates, and television news broadcasts about the campaigns. The bulk of these materials document Hunt’s unsuccessful 1984 bid to unseat Republican Jesse Helms as United States Senator from North Carolina and the 1992 gubernatorial campaign, in which Hunt defeated Republican James Gardner. Also included is material relating to his 1996 gubernatorial campaign, and some material from the 1976 and 1980 gubernatorial campaigns. Not included are any materials specifically documenting Hunt’s official acts as governor.

Physical description

43 cartons, 8 flat boxes, 16 archival boxes, 1 flat folder

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in six series:

  • Videotape
  • Film
  • Audiotape
  • Photographs
  • Documents
  • Gubernatorial Campaign Materials

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James B. Hunt Papers, MC 00003, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

James B. Hunt, Jr., Papers (#325), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina (http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0325/)

Governor's Papers -- James Baxter Hunt, Jr. (16 May 1937 --), Record Group 372 and Record Group 374, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Lieutenant Governor's Papers -- James Baxter Hunt, Jr., Record Group 395, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of James B. Hunt, June 2001 (Accession 2001.0022) and March 2013 (Accession 2013.0055).

Processing information

Processed by: Jonathan Holloway; machine-readable finding aid created by: Jonathan Holloway, March 2011; Addition processed by Meaghan Lanier, May 2013; Finding aid updated by Meaghan Lanier, May 2013

The collection is organized into six principal series:

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James B. Hunt Papers, MC 00003, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.