Historic Capitol Museum opens ‘Historic Campaigning in Florida’ exhibit

Historic Capitol Museum opens ‘Historic Campaigning in Florida’ exhibit
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Historic Capitol Museum held a special opening for their new ‘Historic Campaigning in Florida’ exhibit giving a view into campaigns and tactics of the past.

“I think it’s very interesting from a historic perspective, there are a lot of the same shenanigans that happened in historic campaigns that are happening now,” Director of Research and Programming at the Historic Capitol Museum Rachel Basan-Porter said.

Porter said the exhibit has displays of campaigns “getting nasty” dating back to the early 1900s with newspaper ads of candidates targeting each other.

The exhibit features artifacts of candidates who have campaigned for the Florida legislature over the years including buttons, bumper stickers and political campaign commercials from the 1980s and 1990s playing on a loop.

Porter said it’s a stark contrast to how candidates get their message out today.

“Back in the day we had newspapers, we had pretty slow information travel,” Porter said. “Something that is definitely a difference that you see, even though people are seeing the same tit for tat, my policy their policy it’s just more of a slow trickle of information through mailers, individuals who send out mailers about their platforms.”

One artifact on display is a comic book that former Florida Gov. Farris Bryant published to lay out his platform as a candidate. A successful tactic that won him the office.

“We have some of the ways in which they used to work, as well as interesting little facts about how Florida campaigns are run,” Porter said.

We have public campaign funds, which is pretty unique,” Porter said. “If you’re running for statewide office there is a pot of money that is taxpayer provided that people can draw from if they choose to.”

The exhibit is open now until Nov. 8, the primary election.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.