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1970 Florida gubernatorial election

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1970 Florida gubernatorial election

← 1966 November 3, 1970 1974 →
 
Nominee Reubin Askew Claude R. Kirk Jr.
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Thomas B. Adams Jr. Ray C. Osborne
Popular vote 984,305 746,243
Percentage 56.9% 43.1%

County Results

Askew:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Kirk:      50–60%      60–70%

Governor before election

Claude R. Kirk Jr.
Republican

Elected Governor

Reubin Askew
Democratic

The Florida gubernatorial election of 1970 took place on November 3, 1970, to determine the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Florida, concurrent with the election to the United States Senate, elections to the United States House of Representatives, and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Republican Governor Claude R. Kirk Jr. chose to run for a second term, with this being the first election in which the incumbent would be eligible for another four-year term. The first Republican elected governor since the Reconstruction Era, Kirk was challenged by Eckerd Corporation founder Jack Eckerd and State Senator Louis A. "Skip" Bafalis for his party's nomination. After failing to receive a majority, Kirk prevailed over Eckerd in a runoff. The primary for the Democratic Party nomination featured a four candidate field, with Florida Attorney General Earl Faircloth and President pro tempore of the Florida Senate Reubin Askew advancing to a runoff. Askew won the runoff and received the nomination of the Democratic Party.

This was the first election since the re-establishment of the office of Lieutenant Governor. Askew selected Florida Secretary of State Thomas Burton Adams Jr., while Kirk chose to run with incumbent Ray C. Osborne. Primarily due to controversial statements and actions during his term, as well as his inability to portray Askew as an extreme liberal as he had done with Robert King High in 1966, Kirk lost re-election to Askew in the general election by a margin of 56.88% to 43.12%.

1970 Florida gubernatorial election Intro articles: 269