December 09, 2018

Jimmy Patronis named Florida CFO

26 June 2017, 08:13 | Marion Schneider

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At a Monday morning news conference in Panama City, Scott announced he has named former Republican state legislator Jimmy Patronis of Panama City as the state's next chief financial officer.

"He's got a breadth of knowledge about a lot of things", Scott said during an appearance at Patronis' family-owned Capt. Anderson's Restaurant in Panama City. He served for eight years in the House before being appointed by Scott to serve on the Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates utilities.

Patronis will succeed current CFO Jeff Atwater who is resigning before his second term is up in order to take a job as vice president at Florida Atlantic University.

Patronis will replace Jeff Atwater as the CFO, who was first elected in 2010.

Patronis backed Scott during his initial run for governor seven years ago when many in the GOP establishment were supporting another candidate. "I know that he will bring his wealth of private sector experience with him to Tallahassee".

Florida's next chief financial officer will be one of Gov. Rick Scott's original political allies.

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Patronis in a statement said he was "honored" by the appointment.

"I am honored to be appointed as Florida's next CFO". 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. Scott will also visit Tampa and Pensacola to publicize the high-profile appointment. It's rare for a sitting governor to have a chance to appoint someone to one of Florida's three elected Cabinet positions.

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.

No Republicans had formally announced their intentions to run for the seat, but former state Sen. Patronis will be officially sworn into the job on Friday.

Bay County Commissioner Griff Griffitts, who has known Patronis since the two were a year apart in elementary school, said the former legislator and his family have given back to the community, which should translate statewide.

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