Sandra B. Mortham
Sandra B. Mortham was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and came to Florida at the age of two. She attended St. Petersburg Junior College earning an A.S. degree, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Public Administration from Eckerd College and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Flagler College and Florida Southern University. As Florida’s 22nd Secretary of State, Mortham presided over one of the most diverse Cabinet agencies in Florida government as well as serving on the State Board of Education.
Secretary Mortham’s rise and election to statewide office caps a long career of public service and activism in her local community. She is the first Republican woman to be elected to the Florida Cabinet, and only the second woman so elected. She was elected Republican leader of the Florida House of Representatives in 1992, becoming the first woman in Florida, of either party, to be nominated for Speaker of the House.
During her career in public service, Secretary Mortham has been a champion of reforming Florida’s welfare and juvenile justice systems, has fought for fairness in Florida’s elections, and has reduced the burden of government and improved services for Florida’s citizens. She has been a crusader for local control and passed the constitutional amendment to stop the state from mandates on cities and counties.
Mortham’s public service roots are firmly based at the local level, as she began her public service as a Largo City Commissioner and Vice Mayor. Her stint at the local level ended with her election to the State House in 1986 representing Largo, Dunedin and Clearwater in Pinellas County. She also served as Republican leader Pro Tempore and chaired the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation. She previously served as President of the Greater Largo Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving in many civic and professional organizations.
Mortham has been a recipient of numerous awards from the education community in Florida. She also received the 1993 Outstanding Leader Award in the Nation and is the first person who has twice been named Florida Statesman of the Year. She was honored to receive the prestigious Glass Ceiling Award from the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. Mortham serves as a speaker and facilitator with Southern Women in Leadership.
Following her tenure in elected office, Mortham served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the Florida Medical Association from January 1999 through August 2007. She was the only woman to serve in this position since the Association began over 125 year ago. In 2006, Mortham was awarded the Outstanding CEO in the Nation by the American Medical Association.
In 2010, Sandy founded “Maggie’s List” a federal political action committee that supports women seeking elected office in the United States Congress who will further the ideals of less government, fiscal conservatism, more personal responsibility, and strong national security. www.maggieslist.org
Mortham now lobbies for various prestigious groups before the Florida Legislature and the Governor’s agencies.
Sandy and Allen, a retired educator of 33 years, recently celebrated their 48th anniversary. They have two sons and four grandchildren all living in Tallahassee.Back