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First Family of Florida Logo

Florida's political campaigns have a long and colorful history. Over the years, candidates for governor have campaigned in many different ways. Early candidates used newspapers, leaflets, speechmaking, and one-on-one "politicking" to convey their ideas to voters. Today, people running for the office of governor conduct public opinion polls, go online with computers, and broadcast their messages on radio and television.


Click on the picture for a larger view (new window).

Napoleon Bonaparte Broward speaking at Williams Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., on September 14, 1906. At the turn of the century, all political candidates spoke to crowds without the benefit of public address systems.

Small poster advertising Sidney J. Catts, 1916. He ran on the Prohibition Party ticket. Original poster courtesy of the Florida Collection, Dorothy Dodd Room, State Library of Florida.

Small poster advertising Sidney J. Catts, 1916

David Sholtz

David Sholtz examines telegrams in 1932. The modern conveniences of faxes, cell phones, and pagers have all but eliminated the use of telegrams.

Millard F. Caldwell speaking at a campaign rally in Hialeah on May 22, 1944. The microphone and stand closely resemble one in this exhibit owned and used by Governor Caldwell during his campaign.

Millard F. Caldwell


A truck with a public address system was part of Fuller Warren's campaign strategy in 1948.

The children of two opposing candidates for governor pose outside their school, 1954. Markleyann Johns and Mary Call Collins were the daughters of Governor Charley Johns and candidate LeRoy Collins, who won this election.



Necktie with the inscription "Dan's the Man," circa 1952. This novelty campaign item was used in Dan McCarty's successful run for governor that year.

Clip-on bow tie from the time of Haydon Burns, 1964.


Candidate Haydon Burns 

Candidate Haydon Burns confers with one of his campaign managers in Pensacola in 1964.

Meeting voters personally is a long-standing method of attracting votes. Claude Kirk speaks to a group of shuffleboard enthusiasts in St. Petersburg in 1966.

Meeting Voters

Campaign Dress

Campaign Dress worn by Margie Mixson in 1978. Mrs. Mixson, wife of lieutenant-governor candidate and later governor Wayne Mixson, received a length of specially printed fabric from Adele Graham, wife of gubernatorial candidate Bob Graham. Mrs. Mixson commissioned a dress to be made from the material, which she then wore to a number of campaigning events.

Lawton Chiles gained widespread publicity for his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1970 by walking the length of the state. As a candidate for governor in 1991, he continued the theme of walking to find out the concerns of Florida voters.

Lawton Chiles

Plaid Shirt

Plaid shirt worn by Lawton Chiles in 1995 - 98. Governor Chiles became known for his use of informal clothes in which to campaign and, sometimes, to conduct state business.