Snapshot: Florida Politics in 1989

As I wrote yesterday, I am an avid collector or Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics series. Today we will look at the 1990 Almanac of American Politics (published in 1989).

The Florida narrative focuses on the migration patterns of northerners. As we discussed in the 1979 snapshot the first migration in the 1940s and 1950s consisted of mostly protestant Republicans while in the 1960s and 1970s the migration was of largely ethnic Democrats (Jewish & Catholic).  Florida’s demographics are constantly in flux creating competitive congressional and statewide races, but the state is solidly Republican in Presidential elections according to the Almanac.

The breakdown of elected officials and party registration in Florida was as follows:

Voter Registration:

D – 54%

R -39%

Other – 7%

US Senators:

Bob Graham (D)

Connie Mack (R)

Governor: Bob Martinez (R)

Lieutenant Governor: Bobby Brantley (R)
Secretary of State: Jim Smith (R)
Attorney General: Bob Butterworth (D)
Treasurer: Tom Gallagher (R)
Comptroller: Gerald Lewis (D)
Commissioner of Agriculture: Doyle Conner (D)
Commissioner of Education: Betty Castor (D)

State Senate:  23 D 17 R

State House:  73 D 47 R

Congressional Delegation ( 9 D 10 R)* (Elected in 1988 as 10 D 9 R; Bill Grant switched parties in Feb 1989, delegation would become 11 R 8 D after Claude Pepper passed away and was replaced by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen):

1st:  Earl Hutto (D) of Panama City

2nd: Bill Grant (R) of Madison * Grant was elected as a Democrat and switched parties in Feb. 1989.

3rd: Charlie Bennett (D) of Jacksonville

4th: Craig James (R) of DeLand

5th: Bill McCollum (R) of Altamonte Springs

6th:  Cliff Stearns (R) of Ocala

7th:  Sam Gibbons (D) of Tampa

8th:  Bill Young (R) of Largo

9th: Michael Billirakis (R) of Palm Harbor

10th: Andy Ireland (R) of Lakeland * Ireland elected as a Democrat 1978-1982, as a Republican 1984 onwards

11th: Bill Nelson (D) of Melbourne

12th: Tom Lewis (R) of North Palm Beach

13th:  Porter Goss (R) of Sanibel

14th: Harry Johnston (D) of West Palm Beach

15th: E. Clay Shaw (R) of Fort Lauderdale

16th: Larry Smith (D) of Hollywood

17th: William Lehman (D) of North Miami Beach

18th: Claude Pepper (D) of Miami * Pepper passed away months after the book was published. He was replaced by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) of Miami, the first Cuban-American member of Congress.



7 thoughts on “Snapshot: Florida Politics in 1989

  1. Grant was an absolute moron to switch parties. Peterson crushed him in 1990. Grant never won an election as a Republican.

  2. Harry Johnston was a true liberal. Great member. Lewis was decent also. His wife was in the State House.

  3. Agreed. A great liberal Democrat who made Florida look more enlightened than other southern states during the 1930s and 1940s. In reality we were not any better, we just had a great New Deal/liberal Senator. We proved in 1950 we were just another southern state.

  4. At this point E. Clay Shaw was holding a district where Democrats were winning at all levels. For his last four years he was in a better GOP district, but not an overwhelming one.

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