Like the corresponding officials in other states, the original charge of the Secretary of State — to be the "Keeper of the Great Seal" — has expanded greatly since the office was first created. According to the state website, "Today, the Secretary of State is Florida's Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, the State Protocol Officer and the head of the Department of State."
During the territorial period of Florida, the Secretary of the Territory was one of two major appointed positions within the executive department of the territory. Like the governor, the secretary was originally appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by Congress. The job of the secretary was similar to that of a modern-day Lieutenant Governor, assuming administrative responsibilities of the territory in the absence of the governor. The first Secretary of the Territory George Walton for instance served as Acting Governor of the Territory until William P. Duval assumed office later that year. Walton was the first civilian to act in this capacity following the American acquisition of Florida.
The modern day Department of State and the position of Secretary of State date to 1845, as Florida achieved statehood and the first Florida Constitution came into effect. Originally, the Secretary of State of Florida was elected by the people of the state in the general election. However, in 1998, constitutional changes removed the Secretary of State from the elected Cabinet of the executive branch. That year, Katherine Harris won the last election for Secretary of State.
Since 2002, the Secretary of State of Florida is appointed by the Governor. The current Secretary of State is Ken Detzner.
This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.