The Florida United States Senate election of 1968 was marked by the election of the first Republican to the United States Senate from Florida since Reconstruction.
Democratic three-term incumbent George Smathers decided to not seek re-election in order to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Former popular two-term Governor LeRoy Collins won the Democratic nomination, while Representative Edward J. Gurney became the Republican candidate.
Gurney was much less well known than Collins, but he won by over 11% margin. It is possible that Richard Nixon's victory in the presidential race (including winning Florida) helped Gurney defeat Collins.
OurCampaign article on this race