James B. Hunt Papers 1971-1997, 2012

Summary
Contents
Names/subjects
Using these materials
Creator
Hunt, James B., 1937-
Size
86.2 linear feet (55 boxes, 5 cartons, 8 flat boxes, 1 flat folder, 2 legal boxes, 1 half box.)
Call number
MC 00003

The James B. Hunt Papers, 1971-1997, 2012, include videotapes, films, audiotapes, photographs, correspondence, news clippings, ad slicks, position papers, advertisement scripts, cue sheets, stickers, buttons, artifacts, and brochures relating to the political campaigns of James Baxter Hunt Jr., who was a four-term Democratic governor of North Carolina, from 1977 to 1985 and 1993 to 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 the Democratic governor of North Carolina from 1977 to 1985 and 1993 to 2001. After serving as Lieutenant Governor from 1973 to 1977, he served two terms as Governor, from 1977 to 1981 and 1981 to 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 the office of the governor in 2001.

Biographical/historical note

James Baxter Hunt, Jr. (1937- ) was the Democratic governor of North Carolina from 1977 to 1985 and 1993 to 2001. After serving as Lieutenant Governor from 1973 to 1977, he served two terms as Governor, from 1977 to 1981 and 1981 to 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 the office of the governor in 2001.

Governor Hunt 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 he left the governorship in 2001, Hunt joined the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, in Raleigh. As of 2006, he and his wife, Carolyn, live on their beef cattle farm in eastern North Carolina. They have four children and ten grandchildren.

Scope/content

The James B. Hunt Papers, 1971-1997, 2012, include videotapes, films, audiotapes, photographs, correspondence, news clippings, ad slicks, position papers, advertisement scripts, cue sheets, stickers, buttons, artifacts, 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.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in seven series:

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

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access will require additional advanced notice. Copies of digital files may be provided for use in the SCRC Reading Room upon request.

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NC State University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

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

Related material

Student Leaders Oral Histories, 2010-2014, MC 00401

James B. Hunt, Jr., Papers (#325), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

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), March 2013 (Accession 2013.0055), and June 2015 (Accession 2015.0143)

Processing information

Processed by: Jonathan Holloway; machine-readable finding aid created by: Jonathan Holloway, March 2011; Additions processed by Meaghan Lanier, May 2013, and Todd Kosmerick, June 2015; Finding aid updated by Meaghan Lanier, May 2013, and Todd Kosmerick, June 2015.

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access will require additional advanced notice. Copies of digital files may be provided for use in the SCRC Reading Room upon request.

Preferred Citation

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

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NC State University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.