Wayne Mixson was a long-time politician in Florida. Over the years, he became known for his focus on agricultural issues. Mixson was a farmer by trade in Jackson County, Florida.

Mixson was preparing to retire from his political career in 1987. But a series of events would throw an extra quirk in at the end, one that would briefly put him among the highest-ranking state-level politicians.

Was very briefly the governor of Florida

Mixson was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1967. He represented the 7th District, based out of northern Florida.

Mixson was re-elected multiple times. For several years, he was the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

In 1978, Mixon won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor of Florida. It put him on the ticket with State Senator Bob Graham, who'd won the nomination for governor. They would emerge successful in the general election. The opposing Republican ticket that year included future U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins. In 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter named Mixson as a special ambassador to Ecuador.

Graham and Mixson won again in 1982. This time, it was against a ticket led by U.S. Representative Skip Bafalis. Graham also appointed Mixson to be Florida's commerce secretary during their second term.

In 1986, Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate. Bob Martinez, a Republican former Tampa mayor, was elected to be the next governor of Florida. Mixson had opted to retire from politics. However, state law forced Graham to resign the governorship before joining the Senate. He gave up the office with three days remaining on his term.

Graham's resignation meant the elevation of Wayne Mixson to be governor. For three days, Mixson was the highest-ranking officials in the state. Although his time in office was exceptionally brief, it wasn't necessarily unproductive. Mixson appointed several officials to important government positions. He and his wife did move into the Florida Governor's Mansion, staying in a guest room.

For his part, Mixson apparently viewed his tenure as governor with a degree of humor. Per the Orlando Sentinel, he 'wanted to be known as the governor who did the least damage to Florida.'

During his political career, he had the reputation of being a conservative Democrat. After his retirement, he switched affiliations, becoming a Republican. His former seat in the Florida House is now held by his great-nephew, Jason Shoaf, a Republican.

Mixson was an Alabama native

Mixson originally hailed from New Brockton in southeastern Alabama. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. After the war, Mixson attended Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. He eventually graduated from the University of Florida.

As noted by the Tampa Bay Times, Mixson was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1996. On July 8, 2020, he died in Tallahassee.

Condolences and remembrances have come in from various individuals and groups. Current Governor Ron DeSantis is among them. Former Governor Jeb Bush called Mixson a 'great guy and fine public servant.' U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, another former governor, emphasized Mixson's 'long, accomplished life.'