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Office History

The Office of the Secretary of State was created in 1845, under the Florida Constitution. The main responsibilities of the office included maintaining the states public records. The Secretary of State also served as the custodian of the state seal, which was impressed on documents to certify them as official.

As Florida's population grew in the 20th century so did the duties of the Secretary of State. In 1969, the Office of the Secretary of State was merged with several state agencies to form the Florida Department of State. As the head of the Department of State, the Secretary of State oversees a large state agency with many task and responsibilities.

List of Secretaries

  1. James T. Archer, 1845-48
  2. Augustus E. Maxwell, 1848-49
  3. Charles W. Downing, Jr., 1849-53
  4. Fred L. Villepigue, 1853-63
  5. Benjermin F. Allen, 1863-68
  6. George J. Alden 1868
  7. Johnathan C. Gibbs, 1868-73
  8. Samuel B. Mclin, 1873-77
  9. William D. Bloxham, 1877-80
  10. Fredrick W.A. Rankin, Jr., 1880-81
  11. John Lovic Crawford, 1881-1902
  12. Henry Clay Crawford, 1902-29
  13. William Monroe Igou, 1929-30
  14. Robert Andrew Gray, 1930-61
  15. Thomas "Tom" Adams, Jr., 1961-71
  16. Richard B. Stone, 1971-74
  17. Dorothy W. Glisson, 1974-75
  18. Bruce A. Smathers, 1975-78
  19. Jesse J. McCrary, Jr., 1978-79
  20. George Firestone, 1979-87
  21. James C. "Jim" Smith, 1987-95
  22. Sandra B. Mortham, 1995-99
  23. Katherine H. Harris, 1999-2002
  24. James C. "Jim" Smith, 2002-03
  25. Kenneth W. Detzner, 2003
  26. Glenda E. Hood, 2003-05
  27. David E. Mann, 2005
  28. Sue M. Cobb, 2005-07
  29. Kurt S. Browning, 2007-10
  30. Dawn K. Roberts, Interim, 2010-11
  31. Jennifer Kennedy, Acting, 2011
  32. Kurt S. Browning, 2011-2012
  33. Ken Detzner, 2012-2019
  34. Michael Ertel, 2019
  35. Jennifer Kennedy, Interim, 2019
  36. Laurel M. Lee, 2019-2022
  37. Cord Byrd, 2022-

Secretaries of Distinction

Secretary of State Archer James T. Archer, a distinguished lawyer, served as Florida's first Secretary of State (1845-48).
Secretary of State Gibbs Johnathan C. Gibbs, who was appointed during reconstruction, was Florida's first African-American Secretary of State (1868-73).
Sos -bloxham William D. Bloxham was Florida's first native born Secretary of State (1877-80). He later served two terms as governor of Florida. (1881-85, 1897-1901).
Sos -gray Robert Andrew Gray had the distinction of being Florida's longest-serving Secretary of State. (1930-61).
Some description Dorothy Glisson, appointed Secretary of State by Governor Askew in 1974, became the first woman to hold that position in Florida history, and the first woman to serve on the Florida Cabinet. Before her appointment, she served for two decades as the Director of the state elections office.