26 June, 2017
"I support Rick Scott", Neal said in an email.
Scott will be in Panama City on Monday to announce that he's appointing Republican Jimmy Patronis as chief financial officer.
"He brings lots of experience, not only in the state and in the public sector, but the private sector", Griffitts said. Scott later appointed him to the Public Service Commission. In each of these roles, Jimmy always put Florida families first.
"I would like to thank Jeff Atwater for his service to families and for his stewardship of tax dollars", Scott added. The Associated Press' Gary Fineout first reported the news Sunday afternoon. Atwater is reportedly resigning from the job before his term is over to become a vice president at Florida Atlantic University.
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, a Republican from Panama City, was an early political supporter of Scott in 2010, when the governor was a largely unknown multi-millionaire from Naples who was challenging Republican establishment favorite Bill McCollum in a GOP primary.
He served in the state legislature for eight years before being appointed by Scott to the FPSC in 2014.
Patronis said that he was honored to be selected for the position and was excited to be involved in Florida's continued growth. "I think today is going to continue the Jimmy Patronis legacy of if you ... stand up for the right things, if you work your tail off, every opportunity is afforded to you".
The CFO is one of three cabinet level positions. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was seen as a top candidate, but he decided against seeking the job. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, Tom Lee of Thonotosassa, Lizbeth Benacquisto of Fort Myers Jack Latvala of Clearwater, and state Rep. Joe Gruters of Sarasota.
Scott said he wanted someone who could "step in and do a really good job". Former State Sen. Jeremy Ring, a former executive at Yahoo and a Democrat, has already started running for the job.