1974 United States Senate election in Florida

← 1968 November 5, 1974 1980 →
Jack Eckerd (cropped).jpg
Nominee Richard Stone Jack Eckerd John Grady
Party Democratic Republican American Independent
Popular vote 781,031 736,674 282,659
Percentage 43.4% 40.9% 15.7%

1974 United States Senate election in Florida results map by county.svg
County results
Stone:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Eckerd:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Grady:      40–50%

U.S. senator before election

Edward Gurney

Elected U.S. Senator

Richard Stone

The 1974 United States Senate election in Florida was held on November 5, 1974. Incumbent Senator Edward Gurney, a Republican, declined to seek a second term after being indicted for taking bribes in return for his influence with the Federal Housing Administration. The primary for the Republican nomination pitted Eckerd drug store owner Jack Eckerd against Florida Public Service Commissioner Paula Hawkins. Eckerd won handily, receiving approximately 67.5% of the vote. The Democratic primary, however, was a crowded field with eleven candidates vying for the nomination. Because no candidate received a majority of the votes, U.S. Representative Bill Gunter and Secretary of State of Florida Richard Stone advanced to a run-off election. Stone won by a small margin of 1.68%.

Thus, Eckerd and Stone faced off in the general election. John Grady, a family physician and member of George Wallace's American Independent Party, performed exceptionally well for a third-party candidate. Grady may have split the conservative vote, allowing Stone to win. On election day, Stone received 43.38% of the vote, Eckerd garnered 40.91% of the vote, and Grady acquired 15.7% of the vote. Stone served only one term in the Senate and would be defeated by Gunter in the Democratic primary in 1980.

Democratic primary


Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Stone 236,185 29.80%
Democratic Bill Gunter 157,301 19.85%
Democratic Richard A. Pettigrew 146,728 18.51%
Democratic Mallory Horne 90,684 11.44%
Democratic Glenn W. Turner 51,326 6.48%
Democratic George Balmer 24,408 3.08%
Democratic Burton Young 23,199 2.93%
Democratic Bob Brewster 19,913 2.51%
Democratic David B. Higginbottom 17,401 1.64%
Democratic Duaine E. Macon 14,961 1.89%
Total votes 782,106 100.00%
Democratic primary runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Stone 321,683 50.84%
Democratic Bill Gunter 311,044 49.16%
Total votes 632,727 100.00%

Republican primary



Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jack Eckerd 186,897 67.49%
Republican Paula Hawkins 90,049 32.52%
Total votes 276,946 100.00%

Third parties and Independents

General election

General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Stone 781,031 43.38%
Republican Jack Eckerd 736,674 40.91%
American Independent John Grady 282,659 15.7%
Independent Jim Fair 117 0.01%
Independent Henry J. Matthew 35 0.00%
Independent Hortense L. Arvan 13 0.00%
Independent Timothy L. "Tim" Adams 10 0.00%
Majority 44,357 3.32%
Turnout 1,800,539
Democratic gain from Republican

See also