After becoming Chief Administrative Assistant to U.S. Representative George Huddleston, Jr. in 1954, John Thomas King returned to Birmingham, Alabama in 1961 to run for Mayor. King, a white liberal, ran as a moderate against Art Hanes, a segregationist, who was closely associated with Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor. He campaigned on economic issues and initially was supported by both black and white voters. When Hanes's campaign pegged King as an advocate of an integrated Birmingham, King lost the support of white moderates as well as the election. Beginning in 1962, King served as the city attorney for Alabaster, Alabama for over 30 years. He also served on the Alabama Senate from 1971-1975.
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