Peter Dunbar

Cindy Seip

Peter Dunbar, managing attorney at the Tallahassee office of the Dean Mead law firm, is a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. He is the editor of Before They Were the Black Sheep: Marine Fighting Squadron VMF-214 and the Battle for the Solomon Islands. Dunbar is co-author, with Mike Haridopolos of The Modern Republican Party in Florida (University Press of Florida) Despite Florida’s current reputation as a swing state, there was a time when its Republicans were the underdogs against a Democratic powerhouse. This book tells the story of how the Republican Party of Florida became the influential force it is today. Republicans briefly came to power in Florida after the Civil War but were called “carpetbaggers” and “scalawags” by residents who resented pro-Union leadership. They were so unpopular that they didn’t earn official party status in the state until 1928. As the Sunshine State enters its third decade under GOP control and partisan tensions continue to mount across the country, this book provides a timely history of the modern political era in Florida and a careful analysis of challenges the Republican Party faces in a state situated at the epicenter of the nation’s politics.