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Raymond Claiborne Osborne (September 7, 1933 – March 3, 2011), was a Florida Republican Party politician who served as the first Lieutenant Governor of Florida under the state constitution of 1968 and the state's first lieutenant governor since 1889. Appointed[1] by Republican Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr., Osborne was sworn in on January 7, 1969 for a term that lasted two years.[2][3]

Ray C. Osborne
Lt Gov Ray C. Osborne, Official Portrait.jpg
Official portrait of Lt. Gov. Osborne
circa 1969–71
9th Lieutenant Governor of Florida
In office
January 7, 1969 – January 5, 1971
GovernorClaude Roy Kirk
Preceded byMilton H. Mabry
Succeeded byTom Adams
Personal details
Born(1933-09-07)September 7, 1933
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US
DiedMarch 3, 2011(2011-03-03) (aged 77)
Boca Raton, Florida
Political partyRepublican

In 1970, while Kirk sought re-election as governor, Osborne planned to run for the United States Senate in the Republican primary election against U.S. Representative William C. Cramer of St. Petersburg, whose nomination Kirk personally opposed. However, Osborne withdrew from the race when Judge G. Harrold Carswell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, who had been repudiated by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court, entered the race for senator. Carswell hoped to confront the senators who blocked his appointment. Ultimately, Cramer was nominated for the Senate but lost the general election to the Democrat Lawton Chiles of Lakeland. Years later, Kirk said that he "should have stuck with Osborne" and not encouraged Carswell to run. Kirk also said that he had not "created" Carswell's candidacy, as many in the media had then depicted.[4]

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Osborne graduated from North Carolina State University in 1955. He then served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. Osborne graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1961. Osborne moved with his wife to St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1964 to 1968, Osborne served in the Florida House of Representatives, and unsuccessfully ran for the Florida Public Service Commission in 1968. Osborne practiced law for many years in Boca Raton, Florida, until his death in March 2011.[5][6]


  1. ^ "State Archives of Florida Online Catalog". State Library and Archives of Florida. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  2. ^ "Filming Florida: Images of the Sunshine State". State Archives of Florida. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  3. ^ "Portrait of Florida's first Lieutenant Governor William W.J. Kelly". State Archives of Florida. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  4. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Cramer v. Kirk: The Florida Republican Schism of 1970", Florida Historical Quarterly (April 1970), p. 411
  5. ^ "Ray C. Osborne". Osborne & Osborne, P.A. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  6. ^ "Ray Claiborne Osborne Obituary: View Ray Osborne's Obituary by The Palm Beach Post". Retrieved August 17, 2012.
Political offices
Preceded by
Milton H. Mabry
Office abolished
from 1889 to 1969
Lieutenant Governor of Florida
Succeeded by
Thomas Burton Adams, Jr.