May 22nd, 1944
Millard Caldwell, candidate for Governor of Florida, led
a field of six men in the first primary with a vote of more than
116,000. The high spot given him by the people of Florida in the first
primary has justified his belief that a campaign for Governor in Florida
need not be based on a flimsy foundation of political promises, trades,
commitments, and so called covenants binding the Governor's hands before
his election and strangling him in dealing with the grave problems facing
our state d ring the next four years. Caldwell has made no trades with
the manipulating politicians. His only promise has been made directly
to all the people of Florida that he will deal with each problem as it
arises in a businesslike way and dispose of them for the best interest of
the state and all the people in the state. His appeal and the sound plat-
form adopted by him made such great headway with the people of Florida
that they voted him high man in the first primary.
He has carried his campaign directly to the people. He has
spoken hundreds of times, asserting that good American citizen
ship comes before membership in any group or residence in any section.
He pleads and plans for a united Florida; harmony between all sections,
all working for the best interest of Florida* Be has not arraigned
class against class, nor section against section. He has, by his
calm, logical, common sense appeal to the people, renewed in them
a vital interest In good government in our State.
Hard hitting and straight shooting; a clean, tall, lean, fit
fighter for the rights of all the people, his appeal has been so
effective that the voters tomorrow will go to the polls and make him
the next Governor of Florida.
The next voice you hear will be that of Millard Caldwell,
Florida's next Governor: Mr. Caldwell.
CALDWELL: For the great confidence expressed in me by the people
of Florida in the first primary by a splendid vote of more than
one hundred and sixteen thousand, which came from every part of
our State, I am grateful and humble* For the overwhelming majority
which I am confident the people of all Florida will roll up for me
in the ballot boxes to-morrow, I will feel a deep sense of respon-
sibility and humility. This campaign has been before the people
for seven long and arduous months during a time when our nation is
engaged in the most important war in its history. Nearly three
hundred thousands of the young men and women of our state are scat-
tered to the far corners of the earth fighting our battles for us.
They have left for you and for me, as good Americans, great tasks
to perform, and serious responsibilities to discharge faithfully.
Many of them left us as boys and girls; they will return to
us men and women, ready and eager to find their places as useful
citizens of our state.
Whatever we do tomorrow will have a profound effect upon the
lives and the future security of many of them. Tomorrow, we will
be faced with our own consciences in the quiet of the ballot box
with this one grave question:
Shall we, for the next four years, demand that the government
of Florida be run for the benefit of the state, and all of the people
in the State, or shall we allow it to be run for the personal benefit
of the promising, trading, and manipulating politicians?
With the supreme confidence I have in the sound judgment of
the people of Florida, there is and cannot be but one answer to that
question. That answer is, that government in Florida shall be
for the benefit of the state and all its people; not for the
politicians; that our government shall be simplified aid kept
close to our people; that the interest of the people in the govern-
ment shall be kept aflame and burning for the eternal preservation
of those high ideals of liberty, and justice and opportunity
which made this country the great nation it is today, and for
which our boys are fighting and dying on foreign battlefields
half way round the world.
There has been no time in Florida history when the issue
to be decided tomorrow was so clear. In peacetime we have thought-
lessly enjoyed the luzury of political shows; we have perhaps been
amused at the frantic antics of those who have tried to be elected
to high public office by political merry-go-rounds of shrewd deals,
trades, and bargains in a false carnival played before the people.
We cannot afford that now. We are engated in a deadly serious busi-
ness in this war, and the problems following the war will be a deadly
There is too much at stake and too much to risk to place the
government of Florida in the hands of politicians who will clutch
at the coat tails of the governor from sunrise through the wee small
hours of the night exacting the special privileges and concessions
which he has traded in desperate last minute attempts to secure
election. Florida's high place of responsibility in this great.
nation cannot for the next four years be so lightly treated. We must
work together. Class cannot be arraigned against class, group against
group, nor section against section. A house divided against itself
If there was ever a time in our history when we need to work
together for the common good, that time is now and for the next four
years. There has never been any vindictiveness in my public or private
life. My policy will be one of unity and harmony. My administration
will be dedicated to the purpose that all sections and groups in
Florida should and must work together for the common good.
My public and private life has been devoted to that principle.
When I was in the legislature of Florida in the sessions of 1929 and
1931, during the depths of a terrible depression, I was guided by
and fought for what I conceived to be the common good. I was floor
leader in the fight for state aid to the schools of Florida, which
is substantiated by the official records which have in last minute
desperate political adds printed by the opposition been either
falsified, misquoted, or quoted only in part.
I joined with the school teachers of Florida in 1929 in kill-
ing a defective pension bill which did not have the approval of the
Florida Educational Association, because it contained a clause which
made the school teachers take a pauper's oath before it would benefit
them, and which actually would have benefitted only a few of the
negro teachers of the state. I fought for the first state aid for
schools on the instruction unit basis, which should now be raised to
$1000, The Okechobee Flor Control Bill of 1929 was opposed by me
because it was unconstitutional, as was later held by the Supreme
Court, and saddled a Six Million dollar debt on the people of the
district without giving them an opportunity to vote on the measure.
Representative A. 0. Kanner, who was Senator from the district in
which Okeechobee County is located, for five consecutive terms also
opposed the bill for the sane reason. I have always fought against
the principle of saddlITg any ooammnity with a bonded debt without
a vote of the people affected.
It is my conviction that the old people of Florida should be
dealt, with justlygenerously, and fairly, and that the state
should match the Federal Grants to the old people so that they
will receive a pension of Forty Dollars a month.
Promises pledging the state revenue for particular roads in
exchange for the word of self styled political bosses that votes
will be given in exchange therefore is not, in my judgment, a course
of dealing which is consistent with the best interest of the people
of Florida* I have been offered many such trades, particularly
since the beginning of the second primary. I have steadfastly stuck
to the first statement I made to the people when this campaign
begun: That I would'make n political trades or commitments, except
that I, as governor, will do my best for the people of the state,
and every part of the state. No part of the welfare of the people
of the state of Florida will be traded off by me in an attempt to
get elected, I want all the votes I can get, but I want them on the
same basis that I received the first one hundred and sixteen thousand,
that is, ability and fitness for the office.
The first primary was a clean hard fight. I had hoped that
this second primary campaign would be the same. Unfortunately, how-
ever, the opposition, staring defeat in the face, has tried a last
desperate gamble of rumors and scandal sheets. That has been tried
before in Florida, qnd failed, just as it has failed this time.
The people have always sent down to defeat at the polls, every can-
didate for Governor who has sought that high office by a mud slinging
whispering, rumor spreading campaign. Nearly three months ago, I
suggested that all the candidates meet fact to face on the speaking
platforms throughout Florida, to be seen and heard by all of the
people of Florida, and given an opportunity to answer any charges
made against them. The opponent left in the race against me, was the
only one who refused to meet to work out plans for that. I have been
in this race seven months| my opponent for twenty years- our records
were well known months ago. I mention this only to put the people
of this state on guard against the falsified record of my votes on
public matters, which have been given wide circulation throughout
Florida, in a last desperate attempt on the part of the opposition
to stave off defeat*
The platform on which I have stood is by now familiar to the
people of Florida. The issue is clear, In the conduct of my campaign
I have frankly and fairly stated my attitude on government, and my
belief in what a government should do for its people and what the
people should do for the Government. I have had the happy privilege
of speaking to many thousands of the people of Florida. I have been
in every part of the state. I have learned a great deal of its
problems. With the many fine friends that I have made throughout
Florida, I am confident that I can, as your Governor, make the neces-
sary plans to steer us safely through the trying days that are ahead.
With the advice and counsel of those who are most familiar with the
great fishing, citrus fruit, forest, mining, farming, and manufacturing
activities of Florida, we can march forward with every confidence that,
working all together, we can build tlis into a greater and a better
state in which to live. When I go into the Governor's office it will
be with the single purpose of doing what is best for Florida and all
the people of Florida.
Those who have problems to bring before me will not have to
come through the vice governor of any county. There will be none.
Nor will they, in coming to my office, have to shove their way through
a capitol full of broken down political hacks, wrangling among them-
selves as to which shall be first to pounce upon me to get me to
carry out some trade or concession, because I have made no trades and
no concessions of special privilege. If I had done so, I could not do
the job that must be done for Florida and all of the people of Plorida.
We must do all within our power to win this.war, making every
sacrifice and undergoing every inconvenience necessary to support our
Commander-in-chief, and our armed forces for the earliest possible,
victorious end of the war.
When you, the people, in whom is vested all power, nominate
your Governor tomorrow on the basis of fitness and ability for the
office and for the best interest of all Florida, you will have done
great service as good American citizens. With the faith I have in your
judgment I am confident that your decision will be just and right.
My confidence in the good judgment of the people of Florida
is so strong that I feel justified in predicting that the vote tomorrow
will make me your governor by the greatest majority by which a Governor
has ever been elected in Florida. With that confidence I am onnne-the-
less humbled by the responsibilities of that great office. I shall
during my term of office remain your faithful servant.