You can breathe easier, Floridians. You now have a Lieutenant Governor

Posted by Mitch Perry on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
  • Carlos Lopez-Cantera
The greatest argument as to why the Lieutenant Governor’s position in Florida is completely irrelevant is the fact that we haven’t had one for 10 months and somehow, someway, we've survived.

But that has changed now, as Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera today accepted Rick Scott's offer to serve as the new LG. Before winning that job in 2012, he previously served eight years in the state House of Representatives.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Governor Scott to serve Floridians as their Lieutenant Governor," Lopez-Cantera said this morning. "I look forward to leveraging my experience with small businesses and government tax reform to help further Governor Scott’s mission of economic growth and job creation.”

Shortly after his announcement, the Republican Party of Florida issued out a statement with some of their most prominent members showering praise on the pick.

"Carlos is a great friend and a phenomenal choice to be Florida's lieutenant governor," said Senator Marco Rubio. "I've known Carlos for three decades and have cherished his friendship and wise counsel. Throughout his service in the Florida House, he was an indispensable player in advancing a conservative agenda and fighting Charlie Crist's job-killing policies. Rick Scott has made a great decision for Florida and is lucky to have Carlos on his team.”

The length of time to select a lieutenant governor has fueled critics who have said the position is essentially irrelevant, except for "balancing the ticket" when it comes, in this case, Governor Scott's re-election.

Hillsborough area state Senator Tom Lee and County Commissioner Sandy Murman were known to have spoken with Scott about the position, with Lee several times being quoted as saying that he wasn't sure if he was ready to leave the Tampa Bay area to properly do the LG job from Tallahassee.

The Florida Democratic Party also issued a statement, which they titled, "Wrong for Florida."

“Carlos Lopez-Cantera is the poster child for what is wrong with Tallahassee today, an ultra-partisan career politician who spent his time in Tallahassee putting big corporations and wealthy special interests ahead of middle class families," said Party chair Allison Tant. "By choosing a partisan product of the pay-to-play culture of Tallahassee in Lopez-Cantera as Florida’s Lt. Governor, Rick Scott is proving that he is exactly the type of politician he promised he would never be — more interested in scoring political points than commonsense solutions to the problems facing Florida."

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