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Claude Kirk, first FL GOP governor since Reconstruction, passes away

From the News Service of Florida:

Idiosycratic former Gov. Claude Kirk, one of the first Republicans elected as a governor of a Southern state in modern times, has died, according to several Republican political sources. Kirk was 85. Elected in 1966, Kirk served until he was defeated for re-election in 1970  by Reubin Askew.

Kirk, known for his trademark cowboy hats, showing up at his inaugural with a mystery woman (who turned out to be his new wife), and for never shying away from controversial issues, defeated Robert King High in the 1966 election, after High beat incumbent Democratic Gov. Haydon Burns in the primary.

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