In 1934, the state of Florida faced a midterm election in which one of its two U.S. senators came up for reelection. The campaign began with five candidates, but Claude Pepper and incumbent Park Trammell stood out as the most viable contenders to win the Democratic nomination. As in other southern states, the Democratic Party dominated Florida's elections, and the winner of the party primary won the office. As the campaign between Pepper and Trammell progressed, it became a bitter fight marred by widespread smear tactics. When neither candidate won a majority in the June 5 primary, Pepper and Trammell continued their vigorous statewide campaign until June 26 when election results returned the incumbent to the senate. Soon after the second primary, allegations emerged claiming voter fraud in Hillsborough County. While the claims were legitimate, Claude Pepper refused to challenge the election. Due to the extremely close results of the June 5 primary and the almost even number of supporters for both candidates, corruption in just a handful of precincts in West Tampa and Ybor City apparently deprived Pepper of the Democratic nomination.
Brackett, John M.
"Wrongful Defeat: The 1934 Florida Senatorial Democratic Primary between Claude Pepper and Park Trammell,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 84:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol84/iss2/4