Bob Martinez

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Bob Martinez
000 Martinez.jpg
Former Governor of Florida
From: January 6, 1987 – January 8, 1991
Predecessor Wayne Mixson
Successor Lawton M. Chiles, Jr.
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Jane Martinez
Religion Catholic

Robert "Bob" Martinez (born December 25, 1934) served one term as the 40th governor of Florida from 1987-1991, previously he served as mayor of Tampa from 1979-1986. Martinez was a Democrat until 1983, he then switched to the Republican Party. Martinez was the first and only Hispanic governor of Florida. In office he continued the environmental protection programs of his Democratic predecessor.

For a time Martinez was considered a "rising star" in the Republican Party for his aggressive opposition of wasteful spending projects and increased the state's drug control programs. However, his popularity took a hit after he signed a 5 percent tax on advertising, legal fees, construction, accounting, pest control, architecture and other services. Two months later he called for a special session of the state legislature to repeal the tax. After public opinion polls showed that 8 out of 10 Floridians opposed the tax increases, Martinez said, "I made a mistake." [1]

In 1990 Governor Martinez was defeated for reelection by Democrat Lawton Chiles, Jr., receiving just 43% of the vote.[2] After his term in office, Martinez was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be the director of the National Campaign Against Use of Drugs, or "Drug Czar."

Bob Martinez currently works in the private sector, operating an international business consulting firm in his hometown of Tampa.


  1. Governor acts to end Florida tax
  2. Race details