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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Radel had second shortest Florida House tenure in history



Smart Politics, a blog from the Universtiy of Minnesota, finds that Trey Radel's tenure of 389 days in the U.S. House is the "second shortest among the 132 Floridians to serve as U.S. Representative in state history, and the shortest among those seated at the convening of a new Congress."

Only one other Floridian served fewer days in the chamber - and that came under very unusual circumstances. The state's fourth U.S. House election after the Civil War in 1870 pitted Conservative Democrat Silas Niblack (a former slave owner and veteran of the Confederacy) against the Republican nominee, Josiah Walls (an African-American) for the state's lone at-large seat.

Walls, who was nearly assassinated during his campaign, became one of the first black Americans elected to Congress with a 2.6-point victory and was seated on March 4, 1871. Niblack contested the election, however, on the grounds that Democratic ballots were improperly rejected in several counties.

Nearly two years later, the House Committee on Elections ruled in Niblack's favor and he was seated on January 29, 1873. In the end, Niblack served just 33 days in office before the end of the term on March 3, 1873.

More here.

[Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:24pm]


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