List of Governors of Florida

Last updated
Governor of Florida
Seal of Florida.svg
Ron DeSantis CPAC 2017.jpg
Ron DeSantis

since January 8, 2019
Style The Honorable
Residence Florida Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder William Dunn Moseley
FormationJune 25, 1845
Deputy Jeanette Nunez,
lieutenant governor
Salary$130,273 (2013) [1]

The Governor of Florida is the head of the executive branch of Florida's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. [2] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Florida Legislature, [3] to convene the legislature, [4] and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment. [5]

Government of Florida

The government of Florida is established and operated according to the Constitution of Florida and is composed of three branches of government: the executive branch consisting of the Governor of Florida and the other elected and appointed constitutional officers; the legislative branch, the Florida Legislature, consisting of the Senate and House; and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court of Florida and lower courts. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, and ratification.

Commander-in-chief supreme commanding authority of a military

A commander-in-chief, sometimes also called supreme commander, is the person that exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership – a head of state or a head of government.

Florida National Guard

The Florida National Guard is the National Guard force of the U.S. state of Florida. It comprises the Florida Army National Guard and the Florida Air National Guard.


When Florida was first acquired by the United States, future President Andrew Jackson served as its military governor. Florida Territory was established in 1822, and five people served as governor over six distinct terms. The first territorial governor, William Pope Duval, served 12 years, the longest of any Florida governor to date.

Andrew Jackson 7th president of the United States

Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of Congress. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy" and to preserve the Union.

Florida Territory territory of the USA between 1822-1845

The Territory of Florida was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 30, 1822, until March 3, 1845, when it was admitted to the Union as the state of Florida. Originally the Spanish territory of La Florida, and later the provinces of East and West Florida, it was ceded to the United States as part of the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty. It was governed by the Florida Territorial Council.

William Pope Duval American politician

William Pope Duval was the first civilian governor of Florida Territory, succeeding Andrew Jackson, who had been military governor. In his twelve-year governorship, from 1822 to 1834, he divided Florida into four territories, established the local court system, and chose Tallahassee as the territory's capital because of its central location. Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, Duval Street in Key West, and Duval Street in Tallahassee, Florida are named for him.

Since statehood in 1845, there have been 45 people who have served as governor, one of whom served two distinct terms. Four state governors have served two full four-year terms: William D. Bloxham, in two stints; and Reubin Askew, Jeb Bush, and Rick Scott who each served their terms consecutively. Bob Graham almost served two terms, as he resigned with only three days left. The shortest term in office belongs to Wayne Mixson, who served three days following the resignation of his predecessor, Bob Graham.

William D. Bloxham American politician

William Dunnington Bloxham was the 13th and 17th Governor of Florida in two non-consecutive terms. Prior to his first term as governor, he served in the Florida House of Representatives.

Reubin Askew American politician

Reubin O'Donovan Askew was an American politician, who served as the 37th Governor of the U.S. state of Florida from 1971 to 1979. He led on tax reform, civil rights, and financial transparency for public officials, maintaining an outstanding reputation for personal integrity.

Jeb Bush American politician, former Governor of Florida

John Ellis "Jeb" Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Bush, who grew up in Houston, is the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, and a younger brother of former President George W. Bush. He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and attended the University of Texas, where he earned a degree in Latin American affairs. In 1980, he moved to Florida and pursued a career in real estate development, and in 1986 became Florida's Secretary of Commerce until 1988. At that time, he joined his father's successful campaign for the Presidency.

The current governor is Ron DeSantis, a member of the Republican Party who took office on January 8, 2019.

Ron DeSantis 46th Governor of Florida

Ronald Dion DeSantis is an American attorney, former Naval officer, and politician serving as the 46th governor of Florida since January 2019. A Republican, he represented Florida's 6th congressional district in Congress from 2013 to 2018. After graduating from Yale University and Harvard Law School, DeSantis served as an officer and attorney in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (JAG).

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.


Federal military commissioner

For a list of governors of Florida before it became a United States territory, see the list of colonial governors of Florida.

Spanish Florida was acquired from Spain in the Adams–Onís Treaty, which took effect July 10, 1821. [6] Parts of West Florida had already been assigned to Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi; the remainder and East Florida were governed by a military commissioner with the powers of governor until the territory was organized and incorporated. [7]

Spanish Florida Former Spanish possession in North America

Spanish Florida, was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during Spanish colonization of the Americas. While its boundaries were never clearly or formally defined, the territory was much larger than the present-day state of Florida, extending over much of what is now the southeastern United States, including all of present-day Florida plus portions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and southeastern Louisiana. Spain's claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century. A number of missions, settlements, and small forts existed in the 16th and to a lesser extent in the 17th century; eventually they were abandoned due to pressure from the expanding English and French colonial projects, the collapse of the native populations, and the general difficulty in becoming agriculturally or economically self-sufficient. By the 18th century, Spain's control over La Florida did not extend much beyond its three forts, all located in present-day Florida: St. Augustine, St. Marks, and Pensacola.

Adams–Onís Treaty treaty between the United States and Spain, ceding Florida to the U.S.

The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain's territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; it also came during the Latin American wars of independence.

West Florida region

West Florida was a region on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico that underwent several boundary and sovereignty changes during its history. As its name suggests, it was formed out of the western part of former Spanish Florida, along with lands taken from French Louisiana; Pensacola became West Florida's capital. The colony included about two thirds of what is now the Florida Panhandle, as well as parts of the modern U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Federal Military Commissioner of Florida
CommissionerTerm in officeAppointed byNotes
Andrew Jackson.jpg Andrew Jackson March 10, 1821

December 31, 1821
James Monroe [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 2]

Governors of the Territory of Florida

Florida Territory was organized on March 30, 1822, combining East and West Florida. [12]

Governors of the Territory of Florida
No.GovernorTerm in officeAppointed by
1 2 Duval.jpg William Pope Duval April 17, 1822

April 24, 1834
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
2 John Eaton.jpg John Eaton April 24, 1834

March 16, 1836
3 Richardkeithcall.jpg Richard K. Call March 16, 1836

December 2, 1839
4 Robert Raymond Reid.jpg Robert R. Reid December 2, 1839

March 19, 1841
Martin Van Buren
5 Richardkeithcall.jpg Richard K. Call March 19, 1841

August 11, 1844
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
6 JohnBranch2.jpg John Branch August 11, 1844

June 25, 1845

Governors of the State of Florida

The State of Florida was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845. It seceded from the Union on January 10, 1861, [13] and joined the Confederate States of America on February 8, 1861, [14] as a founding member. Following the end of the American Civil War, it was part of the Third Military District. [15] Florida was readmitted to the Union on June 25, 1868. [16]

The Florida Constitution of 1838 provided that a governor be elected every four years, who was not allowed to serve consecutive terms. [17] The secessionist constitution of 1861 would have reduced this to two years and removed the term limit, [18] but the state fell to the Union before the first election under that constitution. The rejected constitution of 1865 and the ratified constitution of 1868 maintained the four-year term, [19] [20] though without the earlier term limit, which was reintroduced in the 1885 constitution. [21] The current constitution of 1968 states that should the governor serve, or would have served had he not resigned, more than six years in two consecutive terms, he cannot be elected to the succeeding term. [22] The start of a term was set in 1885 at the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the January following the election, [21] where it has remained. [23]

Originally, the president of the state senate acted as governor should that office be vacant. [24] The 1865 and 1868 constitutions created the office of lieutenant governor, [25] [26] who would similarly act as governor. This office was abolished in 1885, with the president of the senate again taking on that duty. [27] The 1968 constitution recreated the office of lieutenant governor, who now becomes governor in the absence of the governor. [28] The governor and lieutenant governor are elected on the same ticket. [22]

Florida was a strongly Democratic state before the Civil War, electing only one candidate from the Whig party (the Democrat's chief opposition at the time). [29] It elected three Republican governors following Reconstruction, but after the Democratic Party re-established control, 90 years passed before voters chose another Republican.

Governors of the State of Florida [lower-alpha 3]
No.GovernorTerm in officePartyElection Lt. Governor [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 5]
1 8 Moseley.jpg   William Dunn Moseley June 25, 1845

October 1, 1849
(term limited)
Democratic 1845 Office did not exist
2 Florida Governor Thomas Brown.jpg Thomas Brown October 1, 1849

October 3, 1853
(term limited)
Whig 1849
3 Florida Governor James E. Broome.jpg James E. Broome October 3, 1853

October 5, 1857
(term limited)
Democratic 1853
4 Florida Governor Madison S. Perry.jpg Madison S. Perry October 5, 1857

October 7, 1861
(term limited)
Democratic 1857
5 John Milton Florida.jpg John Milton October 7, 1861

April 1, 1865
(died in office) [lower-alpha 6]
Democratic 1861
6 Florida Governor Abraham K. Allison.jpg Abraham K. Allison April 1, 1865

May 19, 1865
(resigned) [lower-alpha 7]
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
VacantMay 19, 1865

July 13, 1865
Office vacated
after civil war
7 Florida Governor William Marvin.jpg William Marvin July 13, 1865

December 20, 1865
(provisional term ended)
appointed by
[lower-alpha 8]
8 Florida Governor David S. Walker.jpg David S. Walker December 20, 1865

July 4, 1868 [lower-alpha 9]
Democratic [lower-alpha 10] 1865   William W. J. Kelly [lower-alpha 11]
9 Governor Harrison Reed of Florida.jpg Harrison Reed July 4, 1868 [lower-alpha 9]

January 7, 1873
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1868 William Henry Gleason
(removed December 14, 1868) [lower-alpha 12]
  Edmund C. Weeks
(appointed January 24, 1870)
(term ended December 27, 1870) [lower-alpha 13]
Samuel T. Day
(took office December 27, 1870)
10 Florida Governor Ossian B. Hart.jpg Ossian B. Hart January 7, 1873

March 18, 1874
(died in office)
Republican 1872 Marcellus Stearns
11 Florida Governor Marcellus Stearns.png Marcellus Stearns March 18, 1874

January 2, 1877
(lost election)
Republican Lieutenant
acting as
Acting as Governor
12 Florida Governor George Franklin Drew.jpg George Franklin Drew January 2, 1877

January 4, 1881
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1876 Noble A. Hull
(resigned March 3, 1879)
13 Florida Governor William Bloxham.jpg William D. Bloxham January 4, 1881

January 7, 1885
(term limited)
Democratic 1880 Livingston W. Bethel
14 Florida Governor Edward A. Perry.jpg Edward A. Perry January 7, 1885

January 8, 1889
(term limited)
Democratic 1884 Milton H. Mabry
15 FPFleming.jpg Francis P. Fleming January 8, 1889

January 3, 1893
(term limited)
Democratic 1888 Office did not exist
16 Henry L Mitchell.jpg Henry L. Mitchell January 3, 1893

January 5, 1897
(term limited)
Democratic 1892
17 Florida Governor William Bloxham.jpg William D. Bloxham January 5, 1897

January 8, 1901
(term limited)
Democratic 1896
18 William Sherman Jennings.jpg William Sherman Jennings January 8, 1901

January 3, 1905
(term limited)
Democratic 1900
19 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.jpg Napoleon B. Broward January 3, 1905

January 5, 1909
(term limited)
Democratic 1904
20 Florida Governor Albert W. Gilchrist.jpg Albert W. Gilchrist January 5, 1909

January 7, 1913
(term limited)
Democratic 1908
21 Park Trammell.jpg Park Trammell January 7, 1913

January 2, 1917
(term limited)
Democratic 1912
22 Sidney Johnston Catts in 1916 (cropped).jpg Sidney Johnston Catts January 2, 1917

January 4, 1921
(term limited)
Prohibition 1916
23 Cary Hardee portrait.jpg Cary A. Hardee January 4, 1921

January 6, 1925
(term limited)
Democratic 1920
24 Florida Governor John Martin.jpg John W. Martin January 6, 1925

January 8, 1929
(term limited)
Democratic 1924
25 Doyle E. Carlton.jpg Doyle E. Carlton January 8, 1929

January 3, 1933
(term limited)
Democratic 1928
26 33 Sholtz.jpg David Sholtz January 3, 1933

January 5, 1937
(term limited)
Democratic 1932
27 Florida Governor Frederick Cone.jpg Fred P. Cone January 5, 1937

January 7, 1941
(term limited)
Democratic 1936
28 Sen Spessard Holland.jpg Spessard Holland January 7, 1941

January 2, 1945
(term limited)
Democratic 1940
29 Millard F. Caldwell.jpg Millard Caldwell January 2, 1945

January 4, 1949
(term limited)
Democratic 1944
30 37 Warren.jpg Fuller Warren January 4, 1949

January 6, 1953
(term limited)
Democratic 1948
31 Daniel T. McCarty.jpg Daniel T. McCarty January 6, 1953

September 28, 1953
(died in office)
Democratic 1952
32 Charley Eugene Johns 1963.jpg Charley Eugene Johns September 28, 1953

January 4, 1955
(not candidate for election)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
33 LeRoy Collins.jpg LeRoy Collins January 4, 1955

January 3, 1961
(term limited)
Democratic 1954
(special) [lower-alpha 14]
34 C. Farris Bryant.jpg C. Farris Bryant January 3, 1961

January 5, 1965
(term limited)
Democratic 1960
35 W Haydon Burns.jpg W. Haydon Burns January 5, 1965

January 3, 1967
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1964 [lower-alpha 15]
36 Governor Claude R Kirk.jpg Claude R. Kirk Jr. January 3, 1967

January 5, 1971
(lost election)
Republican 1966
Ray C. Osborne
(office created January 7, 1969)
37 Florida Governor Reubin Askew.jpg Reubin Askew January 5, 1971

January 2, 1979
(term limited)
Democratic 1970 Thomas Burton Adams Jr.
1974 Jim Williams
38 Bob Graham, official Senate photo portrait, color.jpg Bob Graham January 2, 1979

January 3, 1987
(resigned) [lower-alpha 16]
Democratic 1978 Wayne Mixson
39 John Wayne Mixson.jpg Wayne Mixson January 3, 1987

January 6, 1987
(successor took office)
Democratic Succeeded from
40 Portrait of Florida Governor Robert Martinez.jpg Bob Martinez January 6, 1987

January 8, 1991
(lost election)
Republican 1986 Bobby Brantley
41 Lawton Chiles Governor portrait.jpg Lawton Chiles January 8, 1991

December 12, 1998
(died in office)
Democratic 1990 Buddy MacKay
42 Buddy MacKay (official portrait).jpg Buddy MacKay December 12, 1998

January 5, 1999
Democratic Succeeded from
43 Gov Jeb Bush.jpg Jeb Bush January 5, 1999

January 2, 2007
(term limited)
Republican 1998 Frank Brogan
(resigned March 3, 2003)
Toni Jennings
44 Charlie Crist official portrait crop.jpg Charlie Crist January 2, 2007

January 4, 2011
(not candidate for election)
Republican [lower-alpha 17] 2006 Jeff Kottkamp
45 Rick Scott (cropped).jpg Rick Scott January 4, 2011

January 7, 2019 [lower-alpha 18]
(term limited)
Republican 2010 Jennifer Carroll
(resigned March 12, 2013)
Carlos Lopez-Cantera
(appointed February 3, 2014)
46 Ron DeSantis CPAC 2017.jpg Ron DeSantis January 8, 2019

present [lower-alpha 19]
Republican 2018 Jeanette Núñez

See also


  1. Jackson's official titles were "Commissioner of the United States" and "Governor of East and West Florida". [8]
  2. Jackson left Florida on October 8, 1821. [9] His resignation was submitted on November 13, 1821, [10] and the president accepted it on December 31, 1821. [11]
  3. Data is sourced from the National Governors Association, unless supplemental references are required.
  4. The office of lieutenant governor was created in 1868, abolished in 1885, and recreated in 1968.
  5. Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  6. Milton committed suicide due to the pending defeat of the Confederate States of America, stating in his final address to the legislature that "death would be preferable to reunion." [30]
  7. Allison resigned to go into hiding from approaching Union troops, and was captured by them on June 19, 1865. [31]
  8. Marvin was appointed provisional governor by the Union occupation. [32]
  9. 1 2 Reed was popularly elected under the terms of the 1868 constitution, and took the oath of office on June 8, 1868; it was not until July 4, 1868, however, that the federal commander of Florida, still under Reconstruction, recognized the validity of the state constitution and the election. [34]
  10. Most sources state Walker was a Democrat; the state archives say he was "Conservative". [33]
  11. Represented the Republican Party.
  12. During an attempted impeachment of Reed, Gleason proclaimed himself governor. The Supreme Court eventually sided with Reed, and Gleason was removed from office. [35]
  13. Appointed as temporary lieutenant governor to replace William Henry Gleason. However, the state comptroller did not believe the governor could appoint a replacement to an elected office and refused to pay Weeks, and the Senate refused to accept his presidency over them, even proposing a motion to arrest him. Governor Reed called for a special election to replace him, and though Weeks fought it, the Florida Supreme Court declared his term to have ended when the new election results were certified. [36]
  14. Special election to fill the remainder of McCarty's term. [37]
  15. This term was only two years as the election schedule was changed so that it would not coincide with presidential elections. [38]
  16. Graham resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. [39]
  17. Crist was elected as a member of the Republican Party and switched to Independent in April 2010. [40]
  18. Due to Ron DeSantis and Jeannette Núñez taking their oath of office ahead of time, they became governor and lieutenant governor at midnight on January 8, rather than waiting for an inauguration ceremony. Thus, Scott's term ended at the end of January 7. [41]
  19. DeSantis' current term expires on January 2, 2023.

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  1. "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. FL Const. art. IV, § 1a
  3. FL Const. art. III, § 8
  4. FL Const. art. III, § 3c
  5. FL Const. art. IV, § 8
  6. "Adams-Onís Treaty". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  7. "Andrew Jackson, Commissioner of the United States". Florida Department of State. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  8. "Andrew Jackson". State Library and Archives of Florida. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  9. Morris, Allen; Joan Perry Morris (1999). The Florida Handbook, 1999–2000. Peninsular Books. ISBN   978-0-9616000-7-5 . Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  10. Harold D. Moser; David R. Hoth; George H. Hoemann, eds. (1996). The Papers of Andrew Jackson: 1821–1824. University of Tennessee Press. p. 513. ISBN   0-87049-897-5 . Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  11. Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, ed. (1902). The Writings of James Monroe. G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 207. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  12. Peters, Virginia Bergman (1979). The Florida Wars. Hamden: The Shoestring Press. pp. 63–74. ISBN   0-208-01719-4.
  13. "Florida and the Civil War" A Short History". Florida Memory. State Library & Archives of Florida. Archived from the original on April 26, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  14. "February 1861–1865". This Day in History. Florida Historical Society. Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  15. Cox, Merlin (January 1968). "Military Reconstruction in Florida". Florida Historical Quarterly. 46 (3): 219.
  16. "June in Florida History". This Day in History. Florida Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  17. 1838 Const. art III, § 2
  18. 1861 Const. art. III, § 2
  19. 1865 Const. art. III, § 2
  20. 1868 Const. art. V, § 2
  21. 1 2 1885 Const. art. IV, § 2
  22. 1 2 FL Const. art. IV, § 5
  23. FL Const. art. IV, § 2
  24. 1838 Const. art III, § 18
  25. 1865 Const. art. III, § 19
  26. 1868 Const. art. V, § 15
  27. 1885 Const. art. IV, § 19
  28. FL Const. art. IV, § 3
  29. "Whig Party | History, Beliefs, Significance, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  30. "John Milton". National Governors Association . Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  31. "Abraham Kurkindolle Allison". National Governors Association . Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  32. "William Marvin". National Governors Association . Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  33. "David Shelby Walker". State Library and Archives of Florida. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  34. "Florida Governors' Portraits – Harrison Reed". Museum of Florida History. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  35. Davis, William Watson (1913). The Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida, Volume 53. Columbia University. pp. 550–555. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  36. Cases argued and adjudged in the Supreme Court of Florida. XIII. State of Florida. 1871. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  37. "Thomas Leroy Collins". National Governors Association . Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  38. "Haydon Burns". National Governors Association . Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  39. "Daniel Robert Graham". National Governors Association . Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  40. "Can Crist Win in Florida as an Independent?". Time. May 3, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  41. "DeSantis already governor when ceremony begins". Tampa Bay Times . January 5, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.