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Florida governor reviewing four candidates for lieutenant governor

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November 20, 2013

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

By Greg Janetka

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: With the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Florida now vacant for over eight months, Gov. Rick Scott (R) has reportedly whittled the list of potential replacements down to four. Scott has been quiet about the search, which began following Jennifer Carroll's resignation in mid-March.

Carroll stepped down after being asked to do so by Gov. Scott. She had been named as a subject of interest in her affiliation with Allied Veterans of the Worlds, who were found to be operating illegal gambling companies.[1] Scott originally said he would wait until the end of the legislative session to announce a replacement, but with the session over in early May, no news was forthcoming.

One potential reason Scott is taking his time is that a number of his appointees have left following scandals or public disagreements with the governor.[2] The most recent being the resignation of Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett. Bennett resigned August 1, 2013 after revelations he had abused his previous office as Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction surfaced in the press.[3][4]

The four candidates reported as being on the short list are as follows:[5]

  • State Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) - A former Senate President, Lee lost his only statewide race to Alex Sink for chief financial officer in 2006.
  • Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman - A former Democrat, Murman was a state representative from 1996 to 2004. She won election to the county commission in 2010 as a Republican.
  • Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger - County Sheriff since 1991.
  • St. Johns County school superintendent Joseph Joyner - Appointed as superintendent in 2003, Joyner has supported Common Core standards.

It is expected that whomever is selected will serve out the remainder of Carroll's term and run on a ticket with Scott in 2014.

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