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List of Speakers of the Florida House of Representatives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The speaker is the presiding member of the Florida House of Representatives. The Speaker and his staff provide direction and coordination to employees throughout the House and serve the members in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities. The current Speaker is Chris Sprowls who has held the position since November 17th, 2020.

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  • Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6
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Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.


Picture Speaker Session Start of service End of service Party County Residence
1838 Constitution
Hugh Archer 1st June 23, 1845 July 26, 1845 Leon Tallahassee
Isaac Ferguson, Jr. Adj. November 17, 1845 December 29, 1845 Democratic Gadsden Quincy
Robert Brown 2nd November 23, 1846 January 6, 1847 Democratic Columbia
Joseph B. Lancaster 3rd November 27, 1847 December 23, 1847 Whig Duval Jacksonville
John Chain 3rd December 23, 1847 January 8, 1848 Santa Rosa Milton
Benjamin Alexander Putnam.jpg
Benjamin A. Putnam 4th November 27, 1848 January 13, 1849 Whig St. Johns St. Augustine
Hugh Archer 5th November 25, 1850 January 24, 1851 Whig Leon Tallahassee
Florida Governor Abraham K. Allison.jpg
Abraham K. Allison 6th November 22, 1852 January 14, 1853 Democratic Gadsden Quincy
William F. Russell 7th November 27, 1854 January 13, 1855 St. Lucie Fort Pierce
Philip Dell Adj. November 26, 1855 December 15, 1855 Democratic Alachua Newnansville
Hamlin Valentine Snell 8th November 24, 1856 December 27, 1856 Democratic Manatee Manatee
John B. Galbraith.jpg
John B. Galbraith 9th November 28, 1858 January 15, 1859 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
John B. Galbraith Adj. November 28, 1858 December 22, 1858 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
John B. Galbraith 10th November 26, 1860 February 14, 1861 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
Samuel B. Love 11th November 18, 1861 December 17, 1861 Democratic Gadsden Quincy
Thomas Jefferson Eppes 12th November 17, 1862 December 15, 1862 Democratic Franklin Apalachicola
Thomas Jefferson Eppes 12th November 16, 1863 December 4, 1863 Democratic Franklin Apalachicola
Philip Dell 13th November 21, 1864 December 7, 1864 Democratic Alachua Newnansville
Joseph John Williams 14th December 18, 1865 January 16, 1866 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
Joseph John Williams 14th (2nd) November 14, 1866 December 14, 1866 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
1868 Constitution
William W. Moore 1st June 8, 1868 August 6, 1868 Republican Columbia Wellborn
William W. Moore Extra. November 3, 1868 November 7, 1868 Republican Columbia Wellborn
Florida Governor Marcellus Stearns.png
Marcellus L. Stearns 2nd January 5, 1869 February 1, 1869 Republican Gadsden Quincy
William W. Moore Extra. June 8, 1869 June 24, 1869 Republican Columbia Wellborn
Simon Barclay Conover - Brady-Handy.jpg
Simon B. Conover 1873 1873 Republican Leon Tallahassee
Malachi Martin.jpg
Malachi Martin 1874 1874 Republican Gadsden Chattahoochee
Thomas Hannah 1875 1875 Democratic Washington Vernon
George G. McWhorter.jpg
G.G. McWhorter 1877 1877 Democratic Santa Rosa Milton
Charles Dougherty.jpg
Charles Dougherty 1879 1879 Democratic Volusia Port Orange
J.J. Harris 1881 1881 Democratic Orange Tuscawilla
Charles Dougherty.jpg
Charles Dougherty 1883 1883 Democratic Volusia Port Orange
Robert Wyche Davis.jpg
Robert Wyche Davis 1885 1885 Democratic Clay Green Cove Springs
1885 Constitution
Samuel Pasco 1887 May 23, 1887 Democratic Jefferson Monticello
George H. Browne 1887 1887 Democratic Orange Oviedo
John L. Gaskins.jpg
John L. Gaskins 1889 1893 Democratic Bradford Starke
William Sherman Jennings.jpg
William Sherman Jennings 1895 1895 Democratic Hernando Brooksville
Dannite Hill Mays.jpg
Dannitte Hill Mays 1897 1897 Democratic Jefferson Monticello
Robert McNamee 1899 1899 Democratic Lake Leesburg
John W. Watson 1901 1901 Democratic Osceola Kissimmee
Cromwell Gibbons.jpg
Cromwell Gibbons 1903 1903 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
Florida Governor Albert W. Gilchrist.jpg
Albert W. Gilchrist 1905 1905 Democratic DeSoto Punta Gorda
Eugene S. Matthews.jpg
Eugene S. Matthews 1907 1907 Democratic Bradford Starke
Ion Farris.jpg
Ion Farris 1909 1909 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
Thomas Albert Jennings.jpg
Thomas Albert Jennings 1911 1911 Democratic Escambia Pensacola
Ion Farris.jpg
Ion Farris 1913 1913 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
Cary Hardee portrait.jpg
Cary A. Hardee 1915 1917 Democratic Suwannee Live Oak
George H. Wilder 1918 1919 Democratic Hillsborough Plant City
Frank E. Jennings 1921 1921 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
L.D. Edge 1923 1923 Democratic Lake Groveland
A. Y. Milam 1925 1927 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
Fred Henry Davis.jpg
Fred Henry Davis 1927 1929 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
Samuel W. Getzen 1929 1931 Democratic Sumter Bushnell
E. Clay Lewis, Jr. 1931 1933 Democratic Gulf Port St. Joe
Peter Tomasello, Jr. 1933 1935 Democratic Okeechobee Okeechobee
W.B. Bishop 1935 1937 Democratic Jefferson Nash
W. McL. Christie 1937 1939 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
G. Pierce Wood 1939 1941 Democratic Liberty Wilma
Daniel Thomas McCarty (1912–1953).jpg
Daniel T. McCarty 1941 1943 Democratic St. Lucie Fort Pierce
Richard H. Simpson 1943 1945 Democratic Jefferson Monticello
Evans Crary 1945 1947 Democratic Martin Stewart
Tom Beasley.jpg
Tom Beasley 1947 1949 Democratic Walton DeFuniak Springs
Perry E. Murray 1949 1951 Democratic Polk Frostproof
Elmer B. Elliott 1951 1953 Democratic Palm Beach Pahokee
Cecil Bryant.jpg
C. Farris Bryant 1953 1955 Democratic Marion Ocala
Thomas E. David 1955 1957 Democratic Broward Hollywood
Doyle Conner.jpg
Doyle Conner 1957 1959 Democratic Bradford Starke
Tom Beasley.jpg
Tom Beasley 1959 1961 Democratic Walton DeFuniak Springs
William V. Chappell, Jr. 1961 1963 Democratic Marion Ocala
Mallory Horne.jpg
Mallory Horne 1963 1965 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
E. C. Rowell 1965 1967 Democratic Sumter Wildwood
Ralph Turlington 1967 1969 Democratic Alachua Gainesville
1968 Constitution
Frederick Schultz.jpg
Frederick H. Schultz 1969 1970 Democratic Duval Jacksonville
Richard Pettigrew.jpg
Richard A. Pettigrew 1971 1972 Democratic Dade Miami
Terrell Sessums.jpg
T. Terrell Sessums 1973 1974 Democratic Hillsborough Tampa
Speaker Donald L. Tucker.jpg
Donald L. Tucker 1975 1978 Democratic Leon Tallahassee
Speaker J Hyatt Brown.jpg
J. Hyatt Brown 1978 1980 Democratic Volusia Daytona Beach
Ralph Haben.jpg
Ralph Haben 1981 1982 Democratic Manatee Palmetto
Moffitt2 (cropped).jpg
H. Lee Moffitt 1983 1984 Democratic Hillsborough Tampa
J Harold Thompson.jpg
James Harold Thompson 1985 1986 Democratic Gadsden Quincy
Jon Mills.jpg
Jon L. Mills 1987 1988 Democratic Alachua Gainesville
Bud Gardner.jpg
Tom Gustafson 1988 1990 Democratic Broward Fort Lauderdale
T. K. Wetherell.jpg
T. K. Wetherell 1991 1992 Democratic Volusia Daytona Beach
Bolley L. Johnson.jpg
Bolley Johnson 1993 1994 Democratic Santa Rosa Milton
Peter Rudy Wallace.jpg
Peter Rudy Wallace 1995 1996 Democratic Pinellas St. Petersburg
Florida Speaker of the House Daniel Webster.jpg
Daniel Webster November 19, 1996 November 17, 1998 Republican Orange Orlando
John Thrasher November 17, 1998 November 21, 2000 Republican Duval Orange Park
Tom Feeney congressional portrait.jpg
Tom Feeney November 21, 2000 November 19, 2002 Republican Seminole Oviedo
Johnnie Byrd.jpg
Johnnie Byrd November 19, 2002 November 16, 2004 Republican Hillsborough Plant City
Allan Bense.jpg
Allan Bense November 16, 2004 November 21, 2006 Republican Bay Panama City
Marco Rubio.jpg
Marco Rubio November 21, 2006 November 18, 2008 Republican Miami-Dade West Miami
Ray Sansom New Photo.jpg
Ray Sansom November 18, 2008 February 2, 2009 (resigned) Republican Okaloosa Destin
Larry Cretul.jpg
Larry Cretul March 3, 2009 November 16, 2010 Republican Marion Ocala
Dean Cannon.jpeg
Dean Cannon November 16, 2010 November 20, 2012 Republican Orange Winter Park
Will Weatherford.jpg
Will Weatherford November 20, 2012 November 18, 2014 Republican Pasco Wesley Chapel
Steve Crisafulli House portrait.jpg
Steve Crisafulli November 18, 2014 November 22, 2016 Republican Brevard Merritt Island
Richard Corcoran.jpeg
Richard Corcoran November 22, 2016 November 20, 2018 Republican Pasco Land O' Lakes
Jose R. Oliva.jpg
José R. Oliva November 20, 2018 November 17, 2020 Republican Miami-Dade Miami Lakes
Official legislative portrait of State Representative Chris Sprowls.jpg
Chris Sprowls November 17, 2020 Republican Pinellas Palm Harbor

See also


  • The Florida Handbook: 2011-2012. Peninsular Pub. 1 August 2011. pp. 171–72. ISBN 978-0-9765846-4-3.
  • Sessions of the Florida Senate
This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 20:13
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