Snapshot of Florida Politics in 1989

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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.

19th: Dante Fascell (D) of Miami CHAIRMAN OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

5 comments

  1. Old Time Democrat · · Reply

    Dear demdays and floridian and especially Kartik, for allowing us to babble on about the (sad) state of the Democratic Party in Florida, but unfortunately this conversation should be with every single Democrat in Florida.

    Yes, I am old enough to be your fathers and yes I was around in the glory days when everyone was a Democrat and you couldn’t find a Republican anywhere in sight. You all are right in many ways and very wrong on many others.

    Our problems didn’t happen overnight and they wont be changed tomorrow.

    First, there are many good Republicans who have switched to be Democrats now and are in high ranking places in our party and we HAVE to accept them no matter if you think they are opportunists or not. I was there many years ago when many good Democrats fled to be Republicans because of our great (unpopular) “liberal” label and we said good riddance and the Republicans accepted them with open arms…and took power away fro us because of our stupidity and hard-headedness.

    And we look back now as we sit on the back bench with no power at all in Florida, in the House and Senate and the Executive, and we pick pick our noses and say “what happened?”.

    And the answer is, I just told you!

    Former Republicans like Democratic Leader Darryl Rouson, Pinellas County Commission Chair Ken Welch, State Representative Carl Zimmerman and the biggest catch of them all, former GOVERNOR Charlie Crist are people that, no matter if you love them or hate them, that is not the point, we have to accept them as our “brothers and sisters” now. We have to hold them up to the world and say to them and everyone else who wakes up and smells the roses, “Welcome Home!”.

    Remember when I said in my first post those prolific words, “If you can’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it”? Well we cannot be our typical snobbish liberal Democrats with a “liberal” litmus test. We have to be pragmatic and reasonable.

    WE have to be the BIG TENT Party! And we have to accept everyone regardless of their views and compromise to be bigger than the Republicans.

    I like Sen Nan Rich personally very much. She is a great person and leader. But she looks way too old, she is way too liberal and there is no way in hell she is going to raise $100 million dollars. I don’t care how many “Walking Lawton” trips she takes across the State to meet every two bit Democrat or voter, this is not the Florida of 30 years ago when you can do that. Ruth’s List, Emily’s List and whatever lists you name have a great history (in Florida) of big talk, little money and loosing races (ie see Betty Castor for US Senate). This state is a big TV market state that takes millions and millions to win. Which..listen up Democrats..is exactly why Obama won in 08 and 12. Because…I know this is hard to believe…Obama OUTSPENT the Republicans in TV and ground game in Florida, twice, almost 2 to 1.

    demsdays mentions the Marco Rubio and Rick Scott races to compare them to Nan Rich. Really?? No comparison! Marco Rubio benefited by a horrible Democratic candidate with a campaign run by a horrible band of Democratic consultant idiots (who still get paid by the Democratic Party) and a popular Governor Crist, who split the Democratic and Independent votes to allow Rubio to win with his little band of Tea Party idiots with way less than a majority. (Crist should have switched then to be a Dem and run, the Democrat who ran, what’s his name?, should have quit….and we would have two Democratic Senators from Florida…but I digress)

    demsdays says the Republicans supported Scott…not so fast. Bill McCollum was THE party favorite. But nobody in the History of the Stae of Florida has ever written a check for $80 million dollars to buy an election. And with the Obama team leaving the State to not drag every lazy Democrat out to vote…and another band of Democratic consultant idiots running a terrible campaign (which is why I didn’t support Allison Tant for Party Chair cause she saved the band of idiot consultants from being fired by Alan Clendenin…but that’s another story) with a candidate who was a cautious banker for Bank of America for 30 years who approaches everything as if she were making a bank loan (which is exactly why she can’t decide to run now). Think about it, Alex Sink is another great lady Democrat with a great heart like Nan Rich but she is way too careful to spend the “bank’s” money and say the wrong thing.

    Which brings all the way to Governor Charlie Crist.

    Yes , I agree with every writer here and floridian that we need to build a bench and yes, Kirtik, we need to have a good simple message.

    But message? Really? Republicans message, “Less Taxes, Less Government” Simple, quick, easy to understand!

    Democrats message “???????” it takes a Degree in Philosophy to understand it!

    I really don’ care if you Democrats hate Charlie Crist. He DOES have his faults!

    But I, for one, am VERY TIRED of LOOSING!

    Think! How many years has it been since a Democrat sat in the highest office in Florida?

    The people who decide elections are not us Democrats or the hated Republicans, it’s the INDEPENDENTS!

    And right now, in poll, after poll, after poll, Charlie is golden!

    So, we should not look a gift horse in the mouth and count his teeth!

    Charlie has run, AND WON, more STATEWIDE races than anyone we have on the bench.

    I’m not a Charlie apologist, or fan, nor am I enamored with the possibility of Charlie running. But we have to take our pony and ride him to the finish line. Because, fellow Democrats, he IS the best shot we got!

    And don’t be scared by all the Republican smokescreen crap they are throwing at us now and they are going to throw at us later.

    They are scared and they know it! They have a VERY flawed candidate too. We just have to throw it back twice as hard and not run scared like we always do.

    Lets win one for a change! “Democratic” Governor Charlie Crist sounds OK with me!

    Please get used to it!

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. demdaysi · · Reply

      I repeat the most important part of my message. Charlie Crist “has not announced or committed to run!” If he is the best candidate, then why hasn’t he made the decision to run? What is he waiting for? I agree Alison Tant needs to over haul the FDP, but I know she is not going to do it because she does not know how to run the FDP. I agree with a lot of your comments, but bottom line is Charlie will not win if he waits until 2014 to announce. My money and political campaign experience is behind Nan Rich. I ran a state representative’s campaign with less than $10,000 and won against an opponent with much more money. So I know it can be done with the right campaign plan and strategy. Lets work together on this.

      Like

  2. All nominating Crist will do is prove we are a desperate party with no moral compass and zero values.

    Like

  3. Lester · · Reply

    Crist isn’t the issue.

    It is the decline of the Dem vision for the state and emphasis on Florida issues.

    Like

  4. Once upon a time Dems ruled Florida · · Reply

    THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT DISCUSSION AND I APPLAUD THOSE OF YOU FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT FOR HAVING IT. LONG AGO DEMOCRATS RULED FLORIDA. FROM PENSACOLA TO KEY WEST WE WERE THE PARTY. THE YANKEES THAT HAD MOVED INTO PINELLAS, BROWARD AND ORANGE WENT WITH THE REPUBLICANS BUT EVERYONE ELSE WAS A DEMOCRAT. THEN WHAT HAPPENED? EVEN IN 1979 AS THIS POST SAYS THE REGISTRATION WAS MORE THAN 2-1 DEM AND WE DOMINATED EVERY STATEWIDE POST!

    I AM NOT A RACIST AND HAVE BLACK AND JEWISH FRIENDS. BUT THAT DOES NOT PRECLUDE ME FROM BEING AN HONEST POLITICAL OBSERVER. I AM A STUDENT OF HISTORY AND UNDERSTANDING IT WILL MAKE US BETTER.

    IN THE 1960S THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS PUSHED “CIVIL RIGHTS” AND “VOTING RIGHTS” LEGISLATION. THE REPUBLICANS, LEFT-WING NEW YORKERS, JEWS, ITALIAN CATHOLICS, AND GUILTY WHITE WEST COAST LIBERALS ALL BANDED TOGETHER TO TAKE ON THE SOUTH. IN SOME WAYS THEY WERE RIGHT. THINGS LIKE LYNCHING AND THE TERRORISM OF THE KKK HAD TO BE STOPPED AND THE SOUTH, ESPECIALLY FLORIDA WHICH LED THE NATION IN LYNCHINGS AT ONE POINT HAD DONE NOTHING. BUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH ANY MOVEMENT IS IT BECAME EXCESSIVE, OVERTOOK THE DEM PARTY AND DESTROYED OUR GOVERNING COALITION.

    THE DEM PARTY IN FLORIDA WAS STILL A MAINSTREAM PARTY BUT MIAMI WAS TOO LIBERAL AND HAD TO MUCH INFLUENCE OVER THE PARTY AND THE STATE THANKS TO THE REDISTRICTING IN THE LATE 1960S THAT PUT OVER A THIRD OF THE LEGISLATIVE SEATS IN DADE AND BROWARD COUNTIES, DISPLACING LEGISLATORS FROM NORTH FLORIDA WHO KNEW THIS STATE AND HAD WORKED WELL TO BUILD CONSENSUS AND UNITE THE RACES.

    BY 1970 MIAMI WAS OFF THE RESERVATION. THE LEFT-WING JEWS MANY OF WHOM WERE ALIGNED WITH NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WERE RUNNING DADE COUNTY. THE JEWS HAD BEEN AT THE BACKBONE OF THE BLACK “CIVIL RIGHTS” MOVEMENT. MOST BLACKS IN FLORIDA ARE DECENT HARDWORKING FOLK, GOOD PEOPLE BUT THOSE IN MIAMI HAVE BECOME ALLIES OF THE LEFT-WING JEWS. JEWS OUTSIDE MIAMI AND BROWARD ARE DECENT ALSO BUT THOSE DOWN THERE RUN A CORRUPT POLITICAL MACHINE THAT TOOK CONTROL OF MUCH OF THE STATE PARTY. IT IS NOT THE RACE OR ETHNICITY IT IS THE GEOGRAPHY. MIAMI HAS RUINED THE DEMOCRATS IN THE STATE MAKING THE PARTY A REGIONAL ONE CONFINED TO THE SOUTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE STATE.

    WHAT HAPPENED IN MIAMI IN THE 1970S AND 1980S IS A CASE IN POINT. JEWISH POLITICIANS ALIGNING WITH BLACKS, ALLOWING THE CRIME RATE TO GO UP UP UP AND SEEING THE CITY DESCEND INTO CHAOS THANKS TO RIOTING AND LOOTING ONCE EVERY FEW YEARS. DON’T BELIEVE ME YOUNG ONES? JUST GOOGLE MIAMI RIOTS 1980 OR MIAMI RIOTS 1982 MIAMI RIOTS 1989 OR MIAMI RIOTS 1985 OR MIAMI RIOTS 1990 AND YOU WILL SEE. WATCH SCARFACE ALSO. THAT IS SO MIAMI. HELL, THE 1980 MIAMI RIOTS EVEN HAS A WIKIPEDIA PAGE ALL ITS OWN. FROM THAT PAGE:

    “one of the worst race riots in United States history broke out in the black neighborhoods of Overtown and Liberty City in Miami. ”

    IN THE REST OF THE STATE PEOPLE OF BOTH RACES WERE FED UP. CRIME WAS ON THE RISE AS LEFTIST NATIONAL DEMOCRATS BLAMED SOCIETY NOT THE CRIMINAL AND WOULD OVER EXAGGERATE ANY KILLING OF A BLACK BY A WHITE WHICH WAS RARE WHILE BLACKS WOULD KILL WHITES ON A DAILY BASIS. THANKFULLY THE CUBANS CAME TO MIAMI AND CLEANED UP THE TOWN. BUT THE DEMOCRATS DOMINATED BY THE BLACK-JEWISH ALLIANCE DID NOT WANT THE CUBANS AND THEY BECAME REPUBLICANS EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD ALL BEEN DEMOCRATS.

    AND THEN CAME REDISTRICTING. NOW THE BLACKS HAVE SUPREME POWER. THEY CONTROL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY STATEWIDE WITH THEIR JEWISH ALLIES. THEY CANNOT GET SQUAT ELECTED OUTSIDE DADE, BROWARD AND MAYBE PALM BEACH COUNTIES YET THEY CONTROL THE ONE TIME DOMINANT PARTY IN THE STATE.

    THE REPUBLICANS HAVE FORMED A BIG TENT. BASICALLY EVERYONE EXCEPT URBAN BLACKS, MIAMI/BROWARD JEWS AND CRAZY WOMEN ACTIVISTS SCREAMING ABOUT ABORTION AND THEIR MALE HUSBANDS YELLING UTERUS ON THE HOUSE FLOOR.

    THE TAMPA AND ORLANDO AREAS WILL SOON RETURN TO THE REPUBLICANS. SUBURBAN WHITES WILL STOP VOTING ON EMOTION SOON AND VOTE ON ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL ISSUES. ONCE YOU HAVE A FAMILY YOU REALIZE MURDERING CHILDREN IN THE WOMB IS WRONG. THE BLACKS THEMSELVES ARE REALIZING THAT THE GAME IS UP. OBAMA HAS RUINED THE PARTY FOREVER. PUSHING A LEFTIST AGENDA, GAY MARRIAGE, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE AND A PRO-ISRAEL FOREIGN POLICY BECAUSE OF ALL HIS JEWISH ADVISORS. THE HISPANICS VOTING DEM NOW WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN SOON BASED ON CULTURAL ISSUES AND BECAUSE THE ELITES RUNNING THE PARTY WON’T GIVE THEM A SEAT AT THE TABLE. JUST WAIT AND SEE. THE GIG IS UP. CHARLIE CRIST? PLEASE, HE IS HARDLY A FLORIDIAN HIMSELF HAVING TURNED HIS BACK ON THIS STATE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.

    FOLKS THE GAME IS UP. THE DEMOCRATS ARE IRRELEVANT. HAVE BEEN FOR ALMOST TWENTY YEARS AND WILL BE FOR AT LEAST TWENTY MORE. SORRY, THE GAME IS UP.

    Like

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