Politics

After Nearly a Year Without One, Florida Gets a Lieutenant Governor

January 15, 2014
 

By Matthew Beaton

After 10 months and even a lawsuit demanding he move faster, Gov. Rick Scott has finally announced his new lieutenant governor. Scott named Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 40, to the post Tuesday morning. He was elected property appraiser in 2012 but previously spent eight years in the state House of Representatives.

The previous lieutenant governor was forced to resign in scandal after it was revealed she did work for a charity organization that ran a widespread gambling operation across the state through Internet cafes.

The governor released a statement saying Lopez-Cantera will be a pillar in his agenda to establish an "opportunity economy."

"Carlos has two daughters, like I do, and he is focused on how we can transform our economy, so we aren't just creating jobs; we are creating careers and opportunities that will be here for our children and our children's children," he said. "I am confident that we took the right amount of time to find the right person to serve as Florida's lieutenant governor."

Lopez-Cantera said he was honored to take the job.

"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," Lopez-Cantera said in a release.

The Florida Democratic Party released a statement in preparation for the announcement Monday night, criticizing Lopez-Cantera.

"Carlos Lopez-Cantera is the poster child for what is wrong with Tallahassee today, an ultrapartisan career politician who spent his time in Tallahassee putting big corporations and wealthy special interests ahead of middle class families," said Chair Allison Tant. "By choosing a partisan product of the pay-to-play culture of Tallahassee in Lopez-Cantera as Florida's lieutenant 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."

(c)2014 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)

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