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Secretary of State of Florida

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secretary of State of Florida
Seal of Florida.svg
Laurel M. Lee

since January 28, 2019
Inaugural holderJames T. Archer
FormationFlorida Constitution

The Secretary of State of Florida is a constitutional officer of the state government of the U.S. state of Florida, established by the original 1838 state constitution.[1] Like the corresponding officials in other states, the original charge of the secretary of state—to be the "Keeper of the Great Seal"—has expanded greatly since the office was first created. According to the state website, "Today, the Secretary of State is Florida's Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, the State Protocol Officer and the head of the Department of State."[1]

The current secretary is Laurel M. Lee.[2]


During the territorial period of Florida, the secretary of the territory was one of two major appointed positions within the executive department of the territory. Like the governor, the secretary was originally appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by Congress. The job of the secretary was similar to that of a modern-day lieutenant governor, assuming administrative responsibilities of the territory in the absence of the governor. For example, the first secretary of the territory George Walton served as Acting Governor of the Territory until William P. Duval assumed office later that year.[when?] Walton was the first civilian to act in this capacity following the American acquisition of Florida.

The modern-day Department of State and the position of Secretary of State dates to 1845, when Florida achieved statehood. The secretary of state of Florida was elected by the people of the state in a general election. In 1998,[3] constitutional changes removed the secretary of state from the elected Cabinet of the executive branch.[4] That year, Katherine Harris won the last election for secretary of state[5] and since 2002, the secretary of state of Florida has been appointed by the governor.[6]

List of secretaries of the Territory of Florida

# Name Term of service
1 George Walton 1822–1827
2 William M. McCarty 1827–1829
3 James Westcott 1829–1834
4 George K. Walker 1834–1835
5 John P. Duval 1837–1839
6 Joseph McCants 1840–1841
7 Thomas H. Duval 1841–1845

List of secretaries of the State of Florida

Secretaries of state by party affiliation
Party Secretaries of state
Republican 19
Democratic 16
Whig 1
# Name Term of service Political party
1 James T. Archer 1845–1848 Democratic
2 Augustus Maxwell 1848–1849 Democratic
3 Charles W. Downing Jr. 1849–1853 Whig
4 Frederick L. Villepigue 1853–1863 Democratic
5 Benjamin F. Allen 1863–1868 Democratic
6 George J. Alden 1868 Republican
7 Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs 1868–1873 Republican
8 Samuel Mclin 1873–1877 Republican
9 William D. Bloxham 1877–1880 Democratic
10 Frederick W. A. Rankin Jr. 1880–1881 Democratic
11 John Lovic Crawford 1881–1902 Democratic
12 Henry Clay Crawford 1902–1929 Democratic
13 William Monroe Igou 1929–1930 Democratic
14 Robert Andrew Gray 1930–1961 Democratic
15 Thomas Burton Adams Jr. 1961–1971 Democratic
16 Richard B. Stone 1971–1974 Democratic
17 Dorothy Glisson 1974–1975 Democratic
18 Bruce Smathers 1975–1978 Democratic
19 Jesse J. McCrary Jr. 1978–1979 Democratic
20 George Firestone 1979–1987 Democratic
21 James C. Smith 1987–1995 Republican
22 Sandra Mortham 1995–1999 Republican
23 Katherine Harris 1999–2002 Republican
24 James C. Smith 2002–2003 Republican
25 Ken Detzner 2003 Republican
26 Glenda Hood[a] 2003–2005 Republican
27 David E. Mann 2005 Republican
28 Sue M. Cobb 2005–2007 Republican
29 Kurt S. Browning 2007–2010 Republican
30 Dawn K. Roberts 2010–2011 (interim) Republican
31 Jennifer Kennedy 2011 (interim) Republican
32 Kurt S. Browning 2011–2012 Republican
33 Ken Detzner 2012–2019 Republican
34 Mike Ertel 2019 Republican
35 Jennifer Kennedy 2019 (interim) Republican
36 Laurel M. Lee 2019–present Republican
  1. ^ Starting in 2003, the Florida Secretary of State was no longer an elective position. Rather, Secretaries of State are now appointed directly by the Governor of Florida.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Florida Department of State website". 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  2. ^ "Laurel M. Lee, Wife of Sen. Tom Lee, Appointed Florida Secretary of State | Sunshine State News | Florida Political News". Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "State and Local Government-Florida Executive Branch". The Green Papers. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "Florida Legislature website: Florida Constitution". Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  5. ^ "Florida Secretary of State". Our Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  6. ^ "Glenda Hood Steps Down as Secretary of State". Office of Secretary of State. November 1, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 March 2021, at 20:47
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