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The Strange Political Career of Georgia Rep. Charles Weltner

Gov. Carl Sanders poses with 9 of the 10 Georgia congressmen in Atlanta,m July 16, 1963 prior to a meeting to discuss reapportionment of the congressional districts. From left to right, standing are Reps. J.L. Pilcher, John Flight, Russell Tooten, Charles Weltner, Robert Stephens. Seated: Reps. E.L. Forrester, Phil Landrum, Sanders, Reps. Elliott Hagan and John Davis. (AP Photo)
Gov. Carl Sanders poses with 9 of the 10 Georgia congressmen in Atlanta,m July 16, 1963 prior to a meeting to discuss reapportionment of the congressional districts. From left to right, standing are Reps. J.L. Pilcher, John Flight, Russell Tooten, Charles Weltner, Robert Stephens. Seated: Reps. E.L. Forrester, Phil Landrum, Sanders, Reps. Elliott Hagan and John Davis. (AP Photo)
Credit / Associated Press

A conversation with Emory University student Nathaniel Myersohn about the late representative.

After the county unit system that preserved rural political dominance in Georgia was effectively dismantled by federal courts in the early 1960s, a new breed of urban Democrat was able to gain a stronger foothold on statewide offices.  

One of the so-called “progressive” Democrats to emerge was Georgia U.S. Rep. Charles Weltner.  

Weltner’s quick rise and fall is recounted by Emory University’s Nathaniel Meyersohn in his senior honors thesis, “The Unfinished Task – Charles Weltner and the Hope of the New South.”  

Recently, Meyersohn spoke with Steve Goss about his thesis and the strange history of Rep. Welter.