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Subject: Wayne Mixson, Who Served as Governor of Florida for 3 days in 1987

Dies at 98
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Date Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 10:27:45am

Former Florida governor Wayne Mixson dies

Former Lt. Gov. Wayne Mixson, who served three days as governor in 1987, died Wednesday morning in Tallahassee. He was 98.

A colorful Marianna legislator, Mixson was chosen by then- state Sen. Bob Graham of Miami Lakes in 1978 to balance his ticket.

The so-called "Graham-Cracker" ticket beat then-Attorney General Bob Shevin in a Democratic runoff and went on to succeed Gov. Reubin Askew for eight years.

The Jackson County farmer's North Florida conservatism provided important political ballast for Graham, a Harvard-educated Miami lawyer.

At the end of their tenure, Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate, but Florida's law against dual officeholding meant he had to resign on Jan. 3, at the start of his term in Washington.

Mixson was sworn in as governor and filled the weekend plus a Monday state Cabinet meeting before GOP Gov. Bob Martinez was inaugurated.

He was the first lieutenant governor to serve two terms since the office was created in 1968, and the first not to run for higher office after being lieutenant governor.

During Graham's two terms as governor, Mixson also headed the former Department of Commerce.

Graham issued a brief statement praising his old political partner.

"For eight years, I was so fortunate to have such an honest and hard-working person by my side," Graham said. "His selection was an easy one. Our friendship deepened and my admiration of his intelligence and abilities grew."

He said Mixson "capably led the Florida Department of Commerce, which assured Florida's position as a coming state in the national level."

Mixson was elected to the state House in 1967 and was lieutenant governor 1979-87.


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