July 13, 2012
Thomas Dale Alford is largely remembered as a leader of opposition to federally mandated desegregation during the 1957 crisis at Central High School in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Alford’s role as a leading segregationist came through his seat on the Little Rock School Board and then as the candidate who upset incumbent Democratic U.S. representative Brooks Hays after a ten-day write-in campaign in the 1958 election for the Fifth Congressional District of Arkansas. Alford won the election with 30,739 votes to Hays’s 29,483. He was reelected in 1960 but ran an unsuccessful race for governor two years later.