ⓘ 1974 United States Senate election in Florida

                                     

ⓘ 1974 United States Senate election in Florida

The 1974 United States Senate election in Florida was held on November 5, 1974. Incumbent Senator Edward Gurney, a Republican, declined to seek a second term after being indicted for taking bribes in return for his influence with the Federal Housing Administration. The primary for the Republican nomination pitted Eckerd drug store owner Jack Eckerd against Florida Public Service Commissioner Paula Hawkins. Eckerd won handily, receiving approximately 67.5% of the vote. The Democratic primary, however, was a crowded field with eleven candidates vying for the nomination. Because no candidate received a majority of the votes, U.S. Representative Bill Gunter and Secretary of State of Florida Richard Stone advanced to a run-off election. Stone won by a small margin of 1.68%.

Thus, Eckerd and stone came together in the General election. John Grady, a family physician and member of the George Wallaces American independent party, performed exclusively for the third-party candidate. Grady could split the conservative vote, allowing the stone to win. On election day, stone received 43.38% of the votes, Eckerd received 40.91% of the votes, and Grady acquired 15.7% of the vote. Stone served only one term in the Senate and be defeated Gunter in the Democratic primary in 1980.