Interviewer:
How did you get into the Republican Party in Alabama? Why did you move into the Republican Party when you got politically active?
Bert Nettles:
Well, my law partner had asked me...my senior law partner suggested I run against Pierre Pelham. I'd never really thought about it. I'd worked very hard at practicing law. He, of course, thought I'd run as a Democrat. This was again, you have to remember, right after the Goldwater sweep in 1964. When people thought you could probably get elected as a Republican, that the old tantamount theory [the Solid South] had been thrown out the window. I thought about it and I felt like I could not be happy with them. The Democratic Party was in complete turmoil. I was not a Wallace-ite. Wallace completely dominated legislative politics in Alabama. At that time he dominated the state committee. Bob Vance later emerged to take that situation away from him. And I couldn't sign the loyalty oath. I had voted for Goldwater in '64 though I had not been active in the campaign. And I'd voted for some other Republicans. The Democrats had a loyalty oath, which they required of all candidates to sign that they had, in the previous election, supported all the Democratic nominees for office. And, of course this was ignored by many, but I just felt like I'd be more comfortable in the Republican Party. I never regretted that decision. It's been interesting. I felt like I've possibly made more contribution in building the two party system...trying to do something toward building the two party system. And I am...I feel more at home with the majority of Republicans if you consider it on the national scene than I would be with the majority of Democrats.

- Bert Nettles, former Alabama attorney and Republican politician

Interview with Bert Nettles by Jack Bass and Walter De Vries, July 13, 1974, Interview A-0015, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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