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26 June 2017, 08:13 | Laverne Osborne
Gov. Rick Scott to Name Jimmy Patronis Florida CFO
Rick Scott is turning to a political ally and former legislator to take over one of the top jobs in state government.
Former Democratic State Senator Jeremy Ring released a statement on Monday morning saying that Rick Scott's appointment of former State Lawmaker Jimmy Patronis as Chief Financial Officer of Florida won't change the focus of his own campaign for CFO next year.
The announcement, which occurred at Patronis' family restaurant in Panama City, puts an end to months of speculation about who would replace outgoing CFO Jeff Atwater, who is leaving June 30 for a job at Florida Atlantic University. He served for eight years in the House before being appointed by Scott to serve on the Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates utilities.
Patronis now serves as a commissioner on the Florida Public Service Commission and has been a strong backer of Scott since he first popped onto the Florida political scene in 2010.
Patronis also backed Scott during his initial run for governor seven years ago. "I know that he will bring his wealth of private sector experience with him to Tallahassee".
Patronis said that he was honored to be selected for the position and was excited to be involved in Florida's continued growth. The other Cabinet posts are attorney general and agriculture commissioner.
"I am honored to be appointed as Florida's next CFO".
This is one of the most high-profile appointments Scott has had since he first took office in 2011.
In a rare opportunity, Scott has the chance to appoint someone to the four-member Cabinet who will nearly assuredly vote in lockstep with him moving forward.
After Atwater announced he would leave the CFO post, numerous names were mentioned as possible replacements They included Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former state Rep. Tom Grady of Naples, state Sens. Patronis hasn't indicated if he'll run to keep the job next year.
Scott is announcing the appointment at Captain Anderson's, the restaurant run by the Patronis family for 50 years.
Atwater will step down from the position on Friday and Patronis will be sworn in the same day. Under state law, both must agree on the appointment.
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