Following the death of Governor Edward Tynte in June 1710, Broughton was a leading candidate for the governorship. He lost, however, after Robert Gibbes bribed a councilor and secured the post for himself. Broughton and armed supporters marched on Charleston in protest but withdrew shortly thereafter. Capitalizing again on family connections, Broughton became lieutenant governor of South Carolina in 1731, after being recommended by Governor Robert Johnson, his brother-in-law. Following Johnson’s death in May 1735, Broughton assumed the role of acting governor.