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Should Florida's Secretary of State be Elected or Appointed?

Photos: Wikimedia Creative Commons
Florida Secretaries of State, from left: James C. Smith, Glenda Hood, Sue McCourt Cobb, Kurt S. Browning, and current office holder Ken Detzner.

Florida's Secretary of State was originally elected directly by voters, but in 1998, the position was moved out of the Cabinetand became a job appointed by the governor. Now a measure in Tallahassee would once again make the Secretary of State an elected office.

The job of secretary of statehas expanded from it's initial duties as "Keeper of the Great Seal" of the state and Custodian of the Laws of Florida. Today, the position serves as Florida’s Chief of Elections, the head of the Department of State, as well as Florida's Chief Cultural Officer. Offices range from administrative services, to cultural affairs, to overseeing historical resources and the state's library and information services.

Senate Joint Resolution 882 would make the position once again directly elected by voters.

Wednesday at 1 p.m., former Sec. of State Kurt S. Browning, now the Superintendent of Pasco County Schools, joins the program to discuss the secretaries duties, his time in office, and what such a change could mean for the job.

Also joining the program is Dr. Roger Green, FGCU Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, to discuss the office's history and the role the secretary plays in the state government today.

Also featured on the show are portions of an interview with Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Duval/Nassau), sponsoring SJR882, which could change the Secretary of State role to be once again elected by voters.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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