1932 Florida gubernatorial election

← 1928 November 8, 1932 1936 →
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Nominee David Sholtz William J. Howey
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 186,270 93,323
Percentage 66.62% 33.38%

1932 Florida gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
County results
Sholtz:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Governor before election

Doyle E. Carlton

Elected Governor

David Sholtz

The 1932 Florida gubernatorial election was held on November 8, 1932. Democratic nominee David Sholtz defeated Republican nominee William J. Howey with 66.62% of the vote.

Primary elections

Primary elections were held on June 7, 1932.[1]

Democratic primary

During the Democratic primary, the campaign platforms for several candidates are known. David Sholtz would run on a campaign involving: increasing government services, giving back pay for teachers, making school terms 9 months log, free textbook for school students, creating a workers' compensation law, increasing bank regulation and providing more funding for public welfare. Carl Maples would pitch himself as being someone who supported a localized self-government.[2] Former governor Cary A. Hardee would emphasize his record when he was governor while running in the primaries. Another former governor, John W. Martin would emphasize that he led to many roads being paved in Florida and would promise that if elected for a second nonconsecutive term as governor he would give: "a dollar in his pocket and a smile on his face."[3]

Many political observers believed that former governors John W. Martin and Cary A. Hardee would face off against each other in a runoff race.[3]



Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. Martin 66,940 24.19
Democratic David Sholtz 55,406 20.02
Democratic Cary A. Hardee 50,427 18.22
Democratic Stafford Caldwell 44,938 16.24
Democratic Charles W. Durrance 36,291 13.12
Democratic T. S. Hart 9,525 3.44
Democratic Arthur Gomez 9,244 3.34
Democratic J. Thomas Watson 3,949 1.43
Total votes 276,720 100.00
Democratic primary runoff results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David Sholtz 173,540 62.80
Democratic John W. Martin 102,805 37.20
Total votes 276,345 100.00

General election

William J. Howey would run on a similar campaign platform as he did in 1928. During his 1932 platform he would promise to reducing the amount of circuit courts, replace county school boards with appointed superintendents and give parole to prisoners after serving 1/3 of their sentence. He would support refinancing the state's bonds at lower interest rates. As a way to pay off the state's debts, he would propose stopping all road construction and diverting the funds instead to paying off states debts. Howey was in favor of giving more legal rights to women and was fond of the benefits of having a two party system in the state. The Republicans were in favor of abolishing the poll tax in the state while the Democrats were against this as they saw this as a major blow to white supremacy in the state.[5]



1932 Florida gubernatorial election[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic David Sholtz 186,270 66.62%
Republican William J. Howey 93,323 33.38%
Majority 92,947
Democratic hold Swing


  1. ^ a b c The Florida Handbook. 1987. ISBN 9780961600006. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  2. ^ Evans, Jon S. (2011). "Weathering the Storm: Florida Politics during the Administration of Spessard L. Holland in World War II (thesis)". Florida State University Libraries. Archived from the original on 2021-08-06.
  3. ^ a b c Cox, Merlin G. (1964) "David Sholtz: New Deal Governor of Florida," Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 43 : No. 2 , Article 5.
  4. ^ "Journal of the Senate" (PDF). Florida Senate. April 4, 1933.
  5. ^ Hughes, Jr., Melvin (January 1988). "WILLIAM J. HOWEY AND HIS FLORIDA DREAMS". The Florida Historical Quarterly. LXVI (3) – via University of Central Florida Digital Library.
  6. ^ McGovern, Bernie (2007). Florida Almanac 2007-2008. ISBN 9781455604418. Retrieved 2020-05-19.