Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

African-American firsts in the Legislature, and Jennifer Carroll



Your faithful Buzz contributor dropped a word while editing our story today on Jennifer Carroll's resignation. Carroll was not the first African-American Republican member of the Florida Legislature when she was elected in 2003. She was the first female African-American Republican member.

Several African-American Republicans, of course, were elected to the Legislature during the Reconstruction Era. We'll note that in a correction in tomorrow's newspaper.

But, we wondered: Was Carroll the first African-American GOP lawmaker post-Reconstruction, or Reconstruction Era?

No, it turns out.

John Plummer, a Miami African-American Republican, served one term in the Florida House from 1980-82. Interestingly, Plummer’s election appears to be a fluke. According to the Florida Handbook, Plummer avoided photographs and interviews during his campaign and there was voter confusion with another Plummer, who was a white Democrat and member of the House.

Florida shenanigans ...


[Last modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:01pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours