Interview with Mack Mattingly, February 9, 2018

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Mattingly begins by discussing his early life in Indiana during the Great Depression and World War II. He then talks about his service in the United States Air Force and why he decided to move permanently to Georgia afterward. Mattingly then covers his early political involvements and discusses his tenure as the Georgia Republican Party’s state chairman. Mattingly talks about running for the United States Senate in 1980 and his victory over Herman Talmadge. He also discusses his goal of fiscal conservatism while serving on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mattingly next talks about his unsuccessful reelection bid in 1986 and why he stayed out of public office for so long, until his unsuccessful attempt in 2000 to fill the Senate vacancy left by Paul Coverdell’s death. Mattingly concludes by explaining his support for Donald Trump and what he sees as the weaknesses of the modern Republican Party.

Mack Mattingly was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1931. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at a Strategic Air Command base in Savannah, Georgia. After four years of service, Mattingly studied at Indiana University, graduating with a degree in business. He then moved back to South Georgia and lived on St. Simon’s Island. Mattingly first became politically active during the 1964 presidential race, in which he chaired Barry Goldwater’s campaign in Georgia’s first congressional district. Mattingly was then elected the state party chairman for the Georgia Republican Party in 1975, serving for two years. Mattingly ran for the United States Senate in 1980, winning an upset victory over Democratic incumbent Herman Talmadge. Mattingly lost his reelection effort in 1986 to Democrat Wyche Fowler and only sought office again in 2000, running and losing the special election for the Senate seat after Paul Coverdell’s death.






Oral History Item Type Metadata



87 minutes


Mack Mattingly and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Mack Mattingly, February 9, 2018,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 14, 2024,