United States Senate election in Florida, 1980

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United States Senate election in Florida, 1980

← 1974 November 4, 1980 1986 →
  Hawkins, Paula.jpg WD Gunter JR.jpg
Nominee Paula Hawkins Bill Gunter
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,822,460 1,705,409
Percentage 51.7% 48.3%

U.S. Senator before election

Richard Stone

Elected U.S. Senator

Paula Hawkins

The 1980 United States Senate election in Florida took place on November 4, 1980 alongside other elections for President of the United States as well as to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Stone decided to run for re-election to a second term, but was defeated in the Democratic primary election by Bill Gunter. Republican Paula Hawkins won the open seat.[1]

Democratic primary[edit]



Stone, a freshman Senator, had a reputation for changing his mind. In 1980, the AFL-CIO actively campaigned against him, and Stone was deemed vulnerable in his re-election bid.[2] Six Democrats entered the race for Stone's seat including his 1974 runoff opponent Bill Gunter who was Florida State Treasurer/Insurance Commissioner in 1980.[2] As was the case in 1974, Stone and Gunter were forced into a runoff but, unlike 1974, Gunter won the nomination.[citation needed]


Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard Stone 355,287 32.08%
Democratic Bill Gunter 335,859 30.33%
Democratic Buddy MacKay 272,538 24.61%
Democratic Richard A. Pettigrew 108,154 9.77%
Democratic James L. Miller 18,118 1.64%
Democratic John B. Coffey 17,410 1.57%
Total votes 1,107,366 100.00%
Democratic primary runoff results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bill Gunter 594,676 51.76%
Democratic Richard Stone 554,268 48.24%
Total votes 1,148,944 100.00%

Republican primary[edit]



Republican primary results[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paula Hawkins 209,856 48.14%
Republican Louis Frey, Jr. 119,834 27.49%
Republican Ander Crenshaw 54,767 12.56%
Republican Ellis Rubin 19,990 4.59%
Republican John T. Ware 18,118 1.64%
Republican Lewis Dinkins 15,174 3.48%
Total votes 435,962 100.00%
Republican primary runoff results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paula Hawkins 293,600 61.61%
Republican Louis Frey, Jr. 182,911 38.39%
Total votes 476,511 100.00%

General election[edit]



General election results[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Paula Hawkins 1,822,460 51.66% +10.74%
Democratic Bill Gunter 1,705,409 48.34% +4.96%
Write-ins 159 0.00%
Majority 117,051 3.32% +0.85%
Turnout 3,528,028
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

See also[edit]