|Secretary of State of Florida|
|Inaugural holder||James T. Archer|
Like the corresponding officials in other states, the original charge of the Secretary of State — to be the "Keeper of the Great Seal" — has expanded greatly since the office was first created. According to the state website, "Today, the Secretary of State is Florida's Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, the State Protocol Officer and the head of the Department of State."
During the territorial period of Florida, the Secretary of the Territory was one of two major appointed positions within the executive department of the territory. Like the governor, the secretary was originally appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by Congress. The job of the secretary was similar to that of a modern-day Lieutenant Governor, assuming administrative responsibilities of the territory in the absence of the governor. The first Secretary of the Territory George Walton for instance served as Acting Governor of the Territory until William P. Duval assumed office later that year. Walton was the first civilian to act in this capacity following the American acquisition of Florida.
The modern day Department of State and the position of Secretary of State dates to 1845, as Florida achieved statehood and the first Florida Constitution came into effect. Originally, the Secretary of State of Florida was elected by the people of the state in the general election. However, in 1998, constitutional changes removed the Secretary of State from the elected Cabinet of the executive branch. That year, Katherine Harris won the last election for Secretary of State.
Mike Ertel was appointed to serve as Florida's Secretary of State by Governor Ron DeSantis on January 8, 2019, but resigned less than a month later after photos emerged of him appearing in blackface as part of a "Hurricane Katrina victim" Halloween costume in 2005.
List of Secretaries of the Territory
- George Walton, 1822–1827
- William M. McCarty, 1827–1829
- James D. Westcott, 1829–1834
- George K. Walker, 1834–1835
- John P. Duval, 1837–1839
- Joseph McCants, 1840–1841
- Thomas H. Duval, 1842–1845
List of Secretaries of State
- James Tillinghast Archer, 1845–1848
- Augustus Emmett Maxwell, 1848–1849
- Charles W. Downing, Jr., 1849–1853
- Frederick L. Villepigue, 1853–1863
- Benjamin F. Allen, 1863–1868
- George J. Alden, 1868
- Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, 1868–1873
- Samuel B. Mclin, 1873–1877
- William Dunnington Bloxham, 1877–1880
- Frederick W. A. Rankin, Jr., 1880–1881
- John Lovic Crawford, 1881–1902
- Henry Clay Crawford, 1902–1929
- William Monroe Igou, 1929–1930
- Robert Andrew Gray, 1930–1961
- Thomas Burton "Tom" Adams, Jr., 1961–1971
- Richard Bernard Stone, 1971–1974
- Dorothy Glisson, 1974–1975
- Bruce Smathers, 1975–1978
- Jesse J. McCrary, Jr., 1978–1979
- George Firestone, 1979–1987
- James C. Smith, 1987–1995
- Sandra Mortham, 1995–1999
- Katherine Harris, 1999–2002
- James C. Smith, 2002–2003
Ken Detzner, 2003 (acting)
- Glenda Hood, 2003–2005
David E. Mann, 2005 (interim)
- Sue McCourt Cobb, 2005–2007
- Kurt S. Browning, 2007–2010
Dawn K. Roberts, 2010–2011 (interim)
Jennifer Kennedy, 2011 (acting)
Kurt S. Browning, 2011–2012
- Ken Detzner, 2012–2019
- Mike Ertel, 2019
Jennifer Kennedy, 2019 (interim)
- Laurel M. Lee, 2019–present
- "Florida Department of State website". 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
- "State and Local Government-Florida Executive Branch". The Green Papers. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "Florida Legislature website: Florida Constitution". Leg.state.fl.us. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "Florida Secretary of State". Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "Glenda Hood Steps Down as Secretary of State". Office of Secretary of State. November 1, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Lemongello, Steven (December 28, 2019). "Seminole elections supervisor Mike Ertel named Florida's next secretary of state". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
- Schweers, Jeffrey (January 24, 2019). "Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigns after Halloween blackface photos emerge". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- "Florida Department of State » Office of the Secretary » Office History". Dos.state.fl.us. Retrieved April 6, 2012.