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EDITORIAL FROM the TAMPA TIMES, FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 1964 Mathews Best Choice For Governor Florida is a big state with some big problems. Potentially, it is a great state, a leader today in the Southeast which ranks high on anybody's national scale. Florida's position is due to its many natural advantages; it will continue to grow but that growth will have greater substance and far more significance if it is assisted by competent leadership in the executive branch of state government. Six men have offered for governor on the Democratic ticket. One of them is virtually certain to occupy the executive mansion in Tallahassee. Sift as you will through these names, match the candidates qualification for qualification and judge them personality by personality. One stands out above all the rest as best fitted by background, experience, temperament and strength of character to serve as governor of Florida-John E. Mathews. The first thing that impresses you about John Mathews is that he doesn't talk in curves. His platform isn't filled with gimmicks. He isn't promising pie in the sky. If the voters are looking for someone who will offer a basket of pledges which cannot be fulfilled, John . Mathews is not their man. But if they are looking for hard-nosed executive ability, proved competence and a willingness to cut through to the heart of issues, they would do well to turn to Mathews. John E. Mathews has served in the State Legislature since 1956. He won three terms in the House and one in the Senate from Duval County. And in that period he also won numerous honors and awards based on the opinion of fellow lawmakers and members of the press. This applause is not lightly given. Those who draw it are men of honor, intelligence and ability. A look at some of the legislation Mathews has sponsored provides insight to the man's thought processes. He pushed a bill to guard against landfraud advertising; a law to make doctors report cases of child abuse; a bill to curb the home improvements racket; legislation to enlarge state schools for mentally , retarded children. He pressed for placement of government printing under the state purchasing law an act which Mathews believes has saved the state some $20 million. Mathews is a moderate on racial matters at a time when Florida needs the leadership of moderation in this emotionally-packed area. He opposed the "last resort" bill which would have permitted state educators to close a school rather than integrate it. Mathews correctly argued that this would destroy public education. He sponsored a move which gave his home county of Duval its first Negro as an assistant to the county solicitor. He advocates solving racial disputes by keeping lines of communication open between the races and settling issues on a reasonable basis before they are taken into the streets. On reapportionment, Mathews does not carry the banner of the large counties. He voted for the present formula of legislative apportionment which he views as still "grossly unjust" and offers no plan for radically changing composition of the Senate. However, he does support a House of Representatives established on a population basis. His stand on finances and taxation does not include tricky pledges to abolish this or that tax promises that are totally misleading and filled with the dregs of bitter disappointment for those who swallow them in good faith. Mathews offers to return Florida to a pay-as-you-go status as soon as possible. If after effecting all possible economies and tallying revenue from existing sources, a new tax is needed to keep Florida solvent, Mathews asserts: "I would insist that this be a fair tax, with no 'sacred cow' exemptions. I would fight a sales tax extension to food and medicine until every one of the other loopholes are closed. I would insist that any further bond issues be submitted to the voters." Obviously, Mathews doesn't believe in lulling voters to sleep with fiscal fairy tales. He promises economical government, sound administration and an honest assessment of what might be necessary to keep Florida moving forward. We like the frankness of this once-6traight-A student, Navy veteran (Bronze (Star), Methodist lay minister and devoted family man. We believe he is capable of providing the leadership our state needs, of presenting an attractive image to other parts of the nation and instilling confidence in Florida government Florida needs John Mathews and we recommend him as the most outstanding candidate for governor on the May 5 ballot. j 1 j Saepl-: ! ! j ! ,

Clipped from
  1. News-Press,
  2. 21 Apr 1964, Tue,
  3. Page 20

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