Fenno’s Congress and the Grassroots
Jack Flynt’s reelection and primary constituencies between his transitional and new districts are both similar and different in certain aspects. The transitional district was around from 1966 to 1970. Flynt’s transitional district represented about sixteen counties which added up to a population of about 323,000. The traditional district was not too different from his original district. “The district’s dominant economic interest was textiles, farming, and some light metal and food-processing industries” (Fenno, 2000, 16). The district was a one-party Democratic district which meant that the only “serious primary contest Flynt ever had in this district was his initial 1954 victory” (Fenno, 2000, 17). After the redistricting Flynt was given his first city, Macon, as well as his “first taste of two-party politics” (Fenno, 2000, 17). Flynt’s person-to-person representation strategy won over many of the counties especially the smaller counties. “Jack Flynt’s transitional district occupied a pivotal location in the path of that shift. The burgeoning Atlanta metropolitan area was exploding into the near suburbs and gradually pushing southward toward the small rural counties that formed the core of Flynt’s political support”(Fenno, 2000, 51).”For Flynt, the county seat elites made up the core of his primary constituency─ the people whose support he most needed, most wanted, and most assiduously cultivated. They were the essential cue givers of constituency politics, the individuals who provided the ‘elite certification’ of a candidate’s qualifications that is so essential to early political success” (Fenno, 2000, 21). Jack Flynt’s primary constituency also lied with county store proprietors and their customers would make up a large part of his reelection constituency (Fenno, 2000, 22). Flynt’s primary constituency during his transitional district was made of the county seat elites, white voters, voters with agricultural and textile...
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