Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr. (April 3, 1930 – December 12, 1998), was an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. Originally a Korean War veteran, Chiles later return to Florida for law school and eventually opened his own private practice in 1955. Three years later, Chiles entered politics by a successful bid for the Florida House of Representatives in 1958, as a member of Democratic Party. By 1966, Chiles left the Florida House to run for the Florida Senate. Despite 12 years in the Florida Legislature, Chiles was relatively unknown when he initially decided to bid for United States Senate in 1970. Thus, he embarked on a 1,003 mile walk from Key West to Pensacola, earning him the nickname "Walkin' Lawton". It was successful and Chiles defeated his opponent William C. Cramer by a 53.9%-46.1% margin. Chiles retired from the United States Senate and from politics entirely in 1989.
However, supporters convinced him to run for Governor of Florida in 1990 against the unpopular incumbent Bob Martinez. Once again, Chiles won and unseat Martinez with 13% more votes than Martinez. During his first term as Governor of Florida, Lawton Chiles brought reform to health care in the state of Florida and oversaw recovery efforts from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Chiles faced a tough re-election bid in 1994 against Jeb Bush, who was a businessman and son of former President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Chiles prevailed over Bush by slightly less than 64,000 votes. In his second term, Chiles was known for his reforms to education in Florida. On December 12, 1998, he suffered a heart attack and died at the Florida Governor's Mansion, leaving Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay to serve the remaining 23 days of Chiles' unexpired term.
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... Farris Bryant – 240,222 (32.90%) Lawton Chiles – 188,300 (25.79%) Fred Schultz – 175,745 (24.07%) Alcee Hastings – 91,948 (12.59%) Joel Daves – 33,939 (4.65%) Democratic runoff for United ... Florida United States Senate election, 1970 Lawton Chiles (D) – 902,438 (53.87%) William C ... United States Senate election, 1976 Lawton Chiles (D, Inc.) – 1,799,518 (62.98%) John Grady (R) – 1,057,886 (37.02%) Florida United States Senate election, 1982 ...
... Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center Between 2004 and 2005 the Legal Information Center was renovated and renamed as the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center in honor of the late Lawton Chiles he was an alumnus ...
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