1968 United States Senate election in Florida

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United States Senate election in Florida, 1968

← 1966 November 5, 1968 1974 →
  Edward J Gurney.jpg LeRoy Collins.jpg
Nominee Edward Gurney LeRoy Collins
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,131,499 892,637
Percentage 55.9% 44.1%

Florida Senate Election Results by County, 1968.svg
County Results

Gurney:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Collins:      50–60%      60–70%

Senator before election

George Smathers

Elected Senator

Edward Gurney

The Florida United States Senate election of 1968 was marked by the election of the first Republican to the United States Senate from Florida since Reconstruction.

Democratic three-term incumbent George Smathers decided to not seek re-election in order to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Former popular two-term Governor LeRoy Collins won the Democratic nomination, while Representative Edward J. Gurney became the Republican candidate.

Gurney was much less well known than Collins, but he won by over 11% margin. It is possible that Richard Nixon's victory in the presidential race (including winning Florida) helped Gurney defeat Collins.

Florida United States Senate election, 1968
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Edward J. Gurney 1,131,499 55.90
Democratic LeRoy Collins 892,637 44.10
Republican gain from Democratic Swing


OurCampaign article on this race