Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Gov. Scott will travel state to tout Jimmy Patronis/CFO appointment

Gov. Scott will travel state to tout Jimmy Patronis/CFO appointment

Governor Rick Scott came to Panama City Beach Monday morning to officially appoint and swear in Jimmy Patronis, Florida's new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

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.

Lakewood Ranch-based home builder Pat Neal and Sarasota state Rep. Joe Gruters both were believed to be in contention for the CFO job, which became available when current CFO Jeff Atwater announced he will leave the seat before his term expires next year. He was first elected to the post in 2010.

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An early backer of the governor, who was then a political nobody, Patronis quickly became a close Scott ally throughout the years. "I know that he will bring his wealth of private sector experience with him to Tallahassee".

Gov. Rick Scott named former Republican House Rep. Jimmy Patronis Florida's next CFO on Monday.

Patronis said that he was honored to be selected for the position and was excited to be involved in Florida's continued growth. It's rare for a sitting governor to have a chance to appoint someone to one of Florida's three elected Cabinet positions.

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This is one of the most high-profile appointments Scott has had since he first took office in 2011. As chief financial officer, Atwater has overseen Florida's finances, helped make Cabinet decisions on issues such as preserving land and played a number of other roles, such as serving as the state fire marshal. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was seen as a top candidate, but he decided against seeking the job.

Patronis will serve out the remainder of Atwater's term, and could have an advantage over other Republicans if he chooses to run for a full term in 2018. Former State Sen. Jeremy Ring, a former executive at Yahoo and a Democrat, has already started running for the job.

In March, Patronis was among a number of political loyalists the governor appointed to the state Constitution Revision Commission.

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