Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 089 Matt ToweryReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 089 Matt Towery

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 089 Matt Towery

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 089 Matt Towery
Creator Towery, Matthew, 1959-
Dates 2009 October 16
Extent 1.0 interview
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractMatthew Towery was an unofficial page for Governor Lester Maddox, and continued in an official capacity during Maddox’s term as lieutenant governor. He became a speech writer in Mattingly’s successful run for senate in 1980. In 1989 with the encouragement of Newt Gingrich, Towery started the Campaign for Georgia’s Future, and the next year ran an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor. In 1992, he served as Gingrich’s campaign chairman for his successful race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Towery won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, making him the first Republican to preside over the Democratic House. In this interview, Towery comments on his experience working on several political campaigns, his own experience in legislature, and on party politics in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 089, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.


Restrictions

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.


Biographical Note

Matthew Towery was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1959. While still in elementary school he became an unofficial page for Governor Lester Maddox and continued in an official capacity during Maddox’s term as lieutenant governor. He attended the University of Georgia, and in 1980 became a speech writer in Mack Mattingly’s successful run for senate. He received a degree in foreign affairs at Cambridge University in England and graduated from Stetson University Law School in Florida. In 1989 with the encouragement of Newt Gingrich, Towery started the Campaign for Georgia’s Future, and the next year ran an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor. In 1992, he served as Gingrich’s campaign chairman for his successful race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Towery won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, making him the first Republican to preside over the Democratic House. He left politics in 1997. He was CEO of Color Graphics, a printing company, and sold it in 1997. He then served as chairman and CEO of InsiderAdvantage.com.


Scope and Content

Matt Towery discusses his early life including the influence of the Civil War on his family's history. He recalls attending Pace University and the origin of his friendship with Lester Maddox. Towery recalls being an unofficial page for Lieutenant Governor Maddox. He recalls attending the University of Georgia and how that influenced his political career.

Towery recalls meeting Jimmy Carter and his tumultuous relationship with Lester Maddox. He weighs in on Maddox's reputation as a racist. Towery discusses meeting Burt Lance, Mack Mattingly, and Newt Gingrich. He recalls his experience with the Conservative Opportunity Society and the Contract with America. He recalls the friendship between Mattingly and Gingrich.

Towery discusses his early frustration with the Republican party and the formation of the Campaign for Georgia's future. He also recalls his failed campaign for lieutenant governor and his subsequent friendship with Johnny Isakson. Towery also discusses his relationship with Zell Miller and weighs in on the state flag issue. He recalls helping Guy Millner prepare for debate against Zell Miller in 1994.

Towery recalls Newt Gingrich's resignation from Congress and his personal experience working in legislature, at a law firm, and at the family printing company. He also comments on Sarah Palin's presence on the Republican ticket in 2008 and on party politics in Georgia.


Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection


Access Points

Conservatism.
Georgia--General Assembly--House of Representatives.
Georgia--Race relations.
Gingrich, Newt
Maddox, Lester G., 1915-2003.
Mattingly, Mack Francis, 1931-
Miller, Zell Bryan, 1932-
Oral histories.
Political campaigns--United States--Georgia.
Politicians--Georgia.
Republican Party (Ga.)

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
ROGP 089 Matt Towery video ( 101.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
 
ROGP 089 Matt Towery transcript VIEW ONLINE