When Governor Dan McCarty died (TIME, Oct. 12), he left Florida a heritage of reform and an heir who was no reformer: State Senate President Charley E. (for Eugene) Johns, 49, an unleavened Florida cracker from the upstate piney woods. A onetime railroad conductor, Johns had collected more than $70,000 from selling insurance to state agencies while presiding officer of the state senate. He had voted for legalized slot machines, against school construction and against unmasking the Ku Klux Klan.

As acting governor, after McCarty's death, Johns began to build a personal...

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