Lee Weissenborn: Ex-Florida senator who tried to move state capital to Orlando dead at 88
Former Florida Sen. Lee Weissenborn’s most famous “failure” turned out to be his most substantive win.
Weissenborn, who died May 7 at 88 in Palmetto Bay, represented Miami-Dade and served in Florida’s House of Representatives from 1963 to 1967 and the Florida Senate from 1967 to 1972. In 1967, while in the Senate, he presented a bill to create a commission to study the feasibility of moving the state capital from Tallahassee to Orlando.
Weissenborn, who had been a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention, had become incensed with Tallahassee’s record on civil rights. Through the 1960s, Tallahassee was a provincial Southern town with segregation as the rule. During that period, Tallahassee opted to close its public swimming pools rather than integrate them.
Weissenborn’s bill gained serious traction, startling not only the idealistic legislator but also Tallahassee’s civic leaders. The city, after all, had been the state capital since 1824.