David Sholtz

David Sholtz

Birth
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 21 Mar 1953 (aged 61)
Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA
Burial Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 6814821 · View Source
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26th Florida Governor. He was elected during the Great Depression; the son of Jewish immigrates from New York, and for these reasons, considered to be Florida’s darkest dark horse candidate to run for the office of Florida Governor. He graduated with honors from Yale University the class of 1915 and the next year, earned his law degree from Stetson University in Deland, Florida. His parents had relocated from New York to Daytona Beach, Florida in the early 1900’s. Sholtz started his law practice there. He was of the Episcopalian by faith. He entered politics as a one-term member of the Florida House of Representatives. He left the practice during World War I to serve as an ensign in the Navy. In 1921, he resumed his Daytona Beach practice and married Alice Mae Agee in 1925. They had one son of their own and three adopted children. He was very active in local politics and affairs. In 1927, he became the President of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce, which gave him the opportunity to network and be known throughout the state. At the time of this election, the state did not have a balanced budget, which was against the state law; 151 towns were bankrupted; a third of the citizens of Tampa were unemployed; and the present governor had refused any Federal aid. Eight men were running for the office of Governor in the Democratic primary election and two of those were former governors. He came in second in the primary, while former Governor John W. Martin placed first. Martin began a smear campaign by bringing out Sholtz’ Jewish ancestry, but in the end that backfired. Sholtz did not campaign dirty but continue to talk with the people and sincerely listen to them. No one thought he had a chance, yet the darkest of dark horse candidate won the nomination by the greatest majority ever garnered in the history of the state to that time: Sholtz had 173,540 votes to Martin's 102,805. Sholtz easily swamped his Republican opponent, W. J. Howey, in the November election. He took the oath of office on January 4, 1933. He had the strong support of President F. D. Roosevelt and Florida received the much needed federal aid. He accomplished a great deal while governor: Increased teacher’s paychecks, free books in public schools, started the Florida High Patrol, cut unemployment by 75%, reformed prisons, started unemployment benefits, and balanced the Florida budget in three years. Others achievements were establishing the state park and conservation commission, the citrus commission, welfare system, and pensions for the aged and blind. When he had finished his constitutionally-restricted one term in 1936, Florida had become one of the few states in the country moving rapidly toward economic recovery. After leaving the Governor's Mansion on January 5, 1937, he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1938, losing the Democratic primary to Claude Pepper, who won serving the State of Florida in U. S. Senate and Congress for a total of 53 years. While maintaining a legal residence in Florida, Sholtz spent much of his time in New York after leaving the governor's office. He died while visiting the Florida Keys. The single runway airport at Daytona Beach, Sholtz Field, was named as a tribute to the governor; today it is Daytona Beach International Airport.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mark Pawelczak
  • Added: 1 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6814821
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Sholtz (6 Oct 1891–21 Mar 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6814821, citing Daytona Memorial Park, Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .