Governor of Florida

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Florida Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013-2014 FY Budget:  $12,001,814
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Rick Scott.jpg
Name:  Rick Scott
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 4, 2011
Compensation:  $130,273* (does not collect salary)
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Florida Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralChief Financial OfficerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerEnvironmental Protection SecretaryEconomic Opportunity DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Florida is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Florida. The governor is elected by popular election every four years and may serve a maximum of two terms in a row. There is no lifetime limit on the number of times he or she may be elected, but a governor who has been elected to two consecutive terms must be out of office for at least one election cycle before being eligible once again for re-election.

As of May 2015, Florida is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

See also: Florida State Legislature, Florida House of Representatives, Florida State Senate

Current officeholder

The 45th and current governor of Florida is Rick Scott (R). He was first elected in 2010. Scott won re-election in November 2014.

Before becoming governor, Scott ran Solantic Corporation, a network of Florida urgent care centers, which he co-founded in 2001. From 1997 to 2001, he owned a controlling share in America's Health Network, a media company later known as Discovery Health. He previously headed Columbia Hospital Corporation, a conglomeration of 340 hospitals, from its founding in 1987 to 1997. Scott holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University. He and his wife, Ann, have two daughters.[1]


The state constitution establishes the office of the governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Per Article IV, Section 5 of the state constitution, the governor must be at least 30 years old and have been a resident and registered voter of Florida for at least seven years.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 5

(b) When elected, the governor, lieutenant governor and each cabinet member must be an elector not less than thirty years of age who has resided in the state for the preceding seven years. The attorney general must have been a member of the bar of Florida for the preceding five years. No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term.


Florida state government organizational chart
See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of governors

Florida elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Florida, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the January following an election. The procedures for electing Florida's governor is laid out in Article IV, Section 5 of the Florida Constitution.


See also: Florida Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Florida, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Scott/Carlos Lopez-Cantera Incumbent 48.1% 2,865,343
     Democratic Charlie Crist/Annette Taddeo-Goldstein 47.1% 2,801,198
     Libertarian Adrian Wyllie/Greg Roe 3.8% 223,356
     No Party Affiliation Glenn Burkett/Jose Augusto Matos 0.7% 41,341
     No Party Affiliation Farid Khavari/Lateresa Jones 0.3% 20,186
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 137
Total Votes 5,951,561
Election Results via Florida Division of Elections.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Florida governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 5

No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Florida governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Florida Partisanship.PNG


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article IV, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution.

Whenever the governor is unable or unwilling to discharge the office, either temporarily or permanently, the lieutenant governor takes over all the duties of the governorship either until the governor is able to resume the office or until the next election.

At any time that the governor is on trial for impeachment, the lieutenant governor becomes the acting governor.

Additionally, at any time that three members of the cabinet and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court agree on the governor's mental or physical unfitness for office, they may suspend and reinstate the governor, pursuant to § 3.



The Governor of Florida is the chief executive of Florida, and serves as chairman of the Florida cabinet. The governor has the power to execute Florida's laws and to call out the state militia to preserve the public peace, being commander-in-chief of the state's military forces that are not in active service of the United States. At least once every legislative session, the governor is required to deliver an address to the Florida Legislature, referred to as the "State of the State Address," regarding the condition and operation of the state government and to suggest new legislation. These primary duties are laid out in § 1 (a).

Additionally, the governor may initiate judicial action against state, county or municipal officer to enforce compliance with law and the duties of the individual's office, may request opinions and interpretations of constitutional matters from the members of the Florida Supreme Court, and may fill all vacancies in elected and appointed office where the law does not otherwise prescribe the method.

In March 2012, the Florida Legislature passed legislation that expanded the powers of the governor to include more oversight over agency rulemaking, members of local jobs agencies and the distribution of money used to recruit new business to relocate to Florida.[2]

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • assigning official duties to the lieutenant governor, in addition to those set forth by law (§ 2).
  • casting a tie breaking vote when needed in cabinet matters
  • under § 4 (e), sitting as chair of the Florida Board of Administration, pursuant to Article IX, Section 16 of the Constitution of 1885, and which shall continue as a body at least for the life of Article XII, Section 9(c).
  • under § 4 (f), sitting as chair of the trustees of the internal improvement trust fund and the land acquisition trust fund
  • under § 4 (g),sitting as agency chair of the state Department of Law Enforcement
  • suspending and reinstating all officers, including militia officers, for any reason related to neglect, incompetence or inability of fulfill duties; the exception applies in cases of impeachment (§ 7).
  • excepting cases of treason and impeachment, suspend fines and grant reprieves, pardons, and clemency; by himself, the governor may suspend a fine for up to 60 days. For more substantial matters, two cabinet matters must concur (§ 8).
  • cooperating with the cabinet, making all necessary budget reductions in the event of a revenue shortfall (§ 13).


  • Office of Policy & Budget
  • Special Counsel/Legislative Affairs
  • Communications
  • External Affairs
  • General Counsel
  • Deputy Chiefs of Staff[3]

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Florida state budget and finances

The state operates on an annual budget cycle.[4] The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[5]

  1. In July of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
  2. In October agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
  3. Budget hearings are held with state agencies in September.
  4. Public hearings are held in both September and January.
  5. In February the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
  6. The legislature adopts a budget in April or May, effective for the fiscal year beginning in July. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.

The governor is constitutionally and statutorily required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.[5]

Florida is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[5]

Florida budgets three major funds: the General fund, the Major Special Revenue Fund and the Special Revenue Fund. Both the Major Special Revenue Fund and the Special Revenue Fund are comprised of lesser funds. The Major Special Revenue Fund is composed of three lesser funds, and the Special Revenue Fund is composed of about 19 to 20 lesser funds.[6]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2013-2014 was $12,001,814.[7]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials in Florida are determined by state law as mandated in the Florida Constitution. Article II, Section 5 of the state constitution states that compensation of state officers is determined by the Florida State Legislature.[8]

Text of Section 5:

Public Officers

(a) No person holding any office of emolument under any foreign government, or civil office of emolument under the United States or any other state, shall hold any office of honor or of emolument under the government of this state. No person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein, except that a notary public or military officer may hold another office, and any officer may be a member of a constitution revision commission, taxation and budget reform commission, constitutional convention, or statutory body having only advisory powers.

(b) Each state and county officer, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall give bond as required by law, and shall swear or affirm:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of (title of office) on which I am now about to enter. So help me God.”,and thereafter shall devote personal attention to the duties of the office, and continue in office until a successor qualifies.

(c) The powers, duties, compensation and method of payment of state and county officers shall be fixed by law.[9]


In 2014, Gov. Rick Scott (R) did not collect his salary of $130,273, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2013, the governor's salary was $130,273, but Gov. Rick Scott (R) refused to accept compensation.[11]


In 2010, the governor was paid $130,273 a year, according to the Council of State Governments.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Florida
Partisan breakdown of the Florida governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, in Florida there were Democratic governors in office for 7 years while there were Republican governors in office for 14 years. Florida was under Republican trifectas for the last three years of the study period.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Florida, the Florida State Senate and the Florida House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of Florida state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Florida state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the years studied, Florida achieved place in the top-10 in only one year (2007). The state had one Democratic trifecta in 1992, while it has had a Republican trifecta for a total of fourteen years. Florida’s most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, when the state dropped from 8th to 19th. Florida also experienced a significant drop in the ranking between 2009 and 2010.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 29.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 19.00
  • SQLI average with divided government: 29.71
Chart displaying the partisanship of Florida government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

There have been 44 governors since 1845. Of the 44 officeholders, eight were Republican, 33 were Democrat, one was Whig, one was Democrat/Prohibition and one was Provisional.[12]

# Name Term Party
1 William D. Moseley 1845-1849 Democratic
2 Thomas Brown 1849-1853 Whig
3 James E. Broome 1853-1857 Democratic
4 Madison S. Perry 1857-1861 Democratic
5 John Milton 1861-1865 Democratic
6 Abraham K. Allison 1865 Democratic
- William Marvin 1865 Provisional
7 David S. Walker 1865-1868 Democratic
8 Harrison Reed 1868-1873 Republican
9 Ossian B. Hart 1873-1874 Republican
10 Marcellus L. Stearns 1874-1877 Republican
11 George F. Drew 1877-1881 Democratic
12 William D. Bloxham 1881-1885 Democratic
13 Edward A. Perry 1885-1889 Democratic
14 Francis P. Fleming 1889-1893 Democratic
15 Henry L. Mitchell 1893-1897 Democratic
16 William D. Bloxham 1897-1901 Democratic
17 William S. Jennings 1901-1905 Democratic
18 Napoleon B. Broward 1905-1909 Democratic
19 Albert W. Gilchrist 1909-1913 Democratic
20 Park Trammell 1913-1917 Democratic
21 Sidney J. Catts 1917-1921 Democrat, Prohibition
22 Cary A. Hardee 1921-1925 Democratic
23 John W. Martin 1925-1929 Democratic
24 Doyle E. Carlton 1929-1933 Democratic
25 David Sholtz 1933-1937 Democratic
26 Frederick P. Cone 1937-1941 Democratic
27 Spessard L. Holland 1941-1945 Democratic
28 Millard F. Caldwell 1945-1949 Democratic
29 Fuller Warren 1949-1953 Democratic
30 Daniel T. McCarty 1953 Democratic
31 Charley E. Johns 1953-1955 Democratic
32 Thomas L. Collins 1955-1961 Democratic
33 Cecil F. Bryant 1961-1965 Democratic
34 Haydon Burns 1965-1967 Democratic
35 Claude R. Kirk 1967-1971 Republican
36 Reubin O. Askew 1971-1979 Democratic
37 Bob Graham 1979-1987 Democratic
38 Robert Martinez 1987-1991 Republican
39 Lawton Chiles 1991-1998 Democratic
40 Kenneth H. Mackay 1998-1999 Democratic
41 Jeb Bush 1999-2007 Republican
42 Charlie Crist 2007-2011 Republican, Independent
43 Rick Scott 2011-present Republican

State profile

Florida's population in 2014 was 19,893,297.

Florida's population in 2014 was 19,893,297 according to the United States Census Bureau. This estimate represented a 5.8 percent increase from the bureau's 2010 estimate. The state's population per square mile was 350.6 in 2010, exceeding the national average of 87.4.

Florida experienced a 3 percent increase in total employment from 2011 to 2012 based on census data, exceeding the 2.2 percent increase at the national level during the same period.[13]


Florida fell below the national average for residents who attained at least bachelor's degrees based on census data from 2009 to 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 26.4 percent of Florida residents aged 25 years and older attained bachelor's degrees compared to 28.8 percent at the national level.

The median household income in Florida was $46,956 between 2009 and 2013 compared to a $59,836 national median income. Census information showed a 17 percent poverty rate in Florida during the study period compared to a 14.5 percent national poverty rate.[13]

Racial Demographics, 2013[13]
Race Florida (%) United States (%)
White 75.0 77.7
Black or African American 16.0 13.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 1.2
Asian 2.4 5.3
Two or More Races 2.5 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 22.5 17.1

Presidential Voting Pattern, 2000-2012[14][15]
Year Democratic vote in Florida (%) Republican vote in Florida (%) Democratic vote in U.S. (%) Republican vote in U.S. (%)
2012 50.0 49.1 51.1 47.2
2008 50.9 48.1 52.9 45.7
2004 47.1 52.1 48.3 50.7
2000 48.8 48.9 48.4 47.9

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[16]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Governor Florida."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Governor of Florida - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Address: Office of Governor
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Citizen Services Hotline: (850) 488-4441
Switchboard: (850) 488-7146
Fax: (850) 487-0801

See also

External links


  1. Office of the Governor of Florida, "Meet Governor Scott," accessed August 17, 2011
  2. Miami Herald, "Thanks to lawmakesr, Gov. Scott has gained power in Tallahassee," March 15, 2012 (dead link)
  3. Office of the Governor of Florida, "Organizational Chart," accessed August 16, 2011
  4. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  6. State Budget Solutions, "Florida: Background," accessed April 15, 2014
  7. Florida Fiscal Portal, "Senate Bill 1500 - Laws of Florida Chapter 2013-040," 321-322," accessed June17, 2013
  8. Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research, "Salaries of Elected County Constitutional Officers and School District Officials for Fiscal Year 2013-14," October 2013
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fl
  10. Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
  11. Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
  12. National Association of Governors, "Florida: Past Governors Bios," accessed August 5, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 United States Census Bureau, "QuickFacts Beta," accessed March 24, 2015
  14. Florida Department of State, "Election Results," accessed April 16, 2015
  15. The American Presidency Project, "Presidential Elections Data," accessed March 24, 2015
  16. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014