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From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State RepublicansFlorida and Its Politics since 1940$
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David R. Colburn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044859

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044859.001.0001

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From Blue to Red

From Blue to Red

The Era of Jeb Bush and Republican Hegemony

(p.170) 7 From Blue to Red
From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans

David R. Colburn

University Press of Florida

In both style and substance, Jeb Bush offered Florida new leadership and a new direction. During the course of his campaigns against Democrats Lawton Chiles and Buddy MacKay, Bush announced that he would dramatically reduce the role and scope of government, lower taxes, reform education, and introduce competition into all aspects of government. He was in every way a new Republican who felt the private sector did everything better than government and that government had consistently failed the American people. His leadership represented a fundamental change from what Floridians had experienced under Askew, Graham, and Chiles. Bush led Florida with a firm and dominant hand, and he was aided by a strong Republican state party that gave him credit for securing a Republican majority in Florida politics. In contrast to his Democratic predecessors, Bush enjoyed the near unanimous support of his party for his political agenda.

Keywords:   Jeb Bush, Republican dominance, lower taxes, smaller government, fundamental change

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