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Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr. was an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. He served as a United States Senator from 1971 to 1989 and as Governor of Florida from 1991 to 1998.

Lawton Chiles Governor portrait.jpg
41st Governor of Florida
In office
January 8, 1991 – December 12, 1998
Lieutenant Buddy MacKay
Preceded by Bob Martinez
Succeeded by Buddy MacKay
United States Senator
from Florida
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Spessard Holland
Succeeded by Connie Mack III
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Pete Domenici
Succeeded by Jim Sasser
Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Frank Church
Succeeded by H. John Heinz III
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 28th district
In office
November 8, 1966 – November 3, 1970
Preceded by Redistricted
Succeeded by Bob Brannen
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from Polk County, Group 1
In office
November 4, 1958 – November 8, 1966
Preceded by Roy Surles
Succeeded by John R. Clark
Personal details
Born Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr.
(1930-04-03)April 3, 1930
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Died December 12, 1998(1998-12-12) (aged 68)
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
Resting place Chiles Family Estate
Lakeland, Florida
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Rhea May Grafton (m. 1951–1998; his death); 4 children
Alma mater University of Florida
Religion Presbyterianism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1953–1954
Battles/wars Korean War
Pair of Lawton Chiles' walking shoes on display at the Florida State Capitol.

Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr. (April 3, 1930 – December 12, 1998) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. He served as a United States Senator from 1971 to 1989 and as Governor of Florida from 1991 to 1998.

A Korean War veteran, Chiles later returned to Florida for law school and eventually opened his own private practice in 1955. Three years later, Chiles entered politics with a successful bid for the Florida House of Representatives in 1958, as a member of Democratic Party.

By 1966, Chiles left the Florida House to run for the Florida Senate. Despite 12 years in the Florida Legislature, Chiles was relatively unknown when he decided to bid for United States Senate in 1970. He embarked on a 1,003-mile walk from Pensacola to Key West for his campaign, earning him the nickname "Walkin' Lawton". It was successful and Chiles defeated his opponent William C. Cramer by a 53.9%-46.1% margin. Chiles retired from the United States Senate and from politics entirely in 1989.

However, supporters convinced him to run for Governor of Florida in 1990 against the unpopular incumbent Bob Martinez, and Chiles defeated Martinez by a 13-point margin (56.5% to 43.5%). During his first term as Governor of Florida, Lawton Chiles brought reform to health care in the state and oversaw recovery efforts from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Chiles faced a tough re-election bid in 1994 against Jeb Bush, who was a businessman and son of former President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Chiles prevailed over Bush by fewer than 64,000 votes. In his second term, Chiles was known for his reforms to education in Florida. On December 12, 1998, he suffered a heart attack and died at the Florida Governor's Mansion, leaving Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay to serve the remaining 23 days of Chiles' unexpired term.