Lawton Chiles

Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr. ( born April 3, 1930 in Lakeland, Florida, † December 12, 1998 in Tallahassee, Florida ) was an American politician and from 1991 to 1998, the 41st Governor of Florida. Between 1971 and 1989 he represented his state in the U.S. Senate.

Early years and political rise in the U.S. Senate

Lawton Chiles attended the University of Florida and completed his law degree in 1955. In the meantime, he fought during the Korean War in the U.S. Army. After his admission to the bar he practiced in his hometown of Lakeland. Lawton Chiles was a member of the Democratic Party. From 1958 to 1966, Chile's deputy in the House of Representatives from Florida; and from 1966 to 1970 he was in the state Senate. He was then elected to the Senate of the United States, where he remained from 3 January 1971 to 3 January 1989. He was there the first senator from Florida, who headed the Budget Committee, and he was chairman of a special committee, which dealt with the problems of aging (Special Committee on Aging ). He founded the National Commission against child mortality and became its chairman. In 1988 he wanted to retire because of health issues from politics and opted not to run again for the U.S. Senate. He suffered from heart problems and was frustrated by the work in the U.S. Senate because he did not go the decisions fast enough. But his friends persuaded him, in 1990 to run for governor of Florida.

Governor of Florida

After he had managed to beat the incumbent, Robert Martinez, Chiles could assume office on January 8, 1991. In his first term, the governor had to deal with strong opposition. Some reform proposals in the field of health and taxation were rejected. A general economic crisis in those years as well as the consequences of hurricane " Andrew" made ​​him to create. Spite of these problems he faced in 1994 for re-election. It came to a head-to -head race with his Republican Gegnegenkandidaten Jeb Bush. Due to a successful TV duel against Bush won Chile's just the majority. During his second term, succeeded his government to win a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, which had to pay $ 11.3 billion compensation for damages that were incurred by the health system through typical smoking-related diseases. use the money among other things, new schools were built. Chile was also a supporter of the death penalty. for the 1998 upcoming gubernatorial elections in Chile was not allowed to run itself, because the Constitution did not allow more than two contiguous terms. however, he sat down for his Lieutenant Governor Kenneth MacKay as his successor but one. This defeated in the elections against Jeb Bush. Three weeks before the end of his term of Chile died of a heart attack. To be lieutenant governor was still his successor, even if only for these three weeks. Lawton Chiles was married to Rhea Chiles, with whom he had four children.