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- 2014 - January - 14th -

Scott to name lieutenant governor

By Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

Ten months after Jennifer Carroll left the job, Gov. Rick Scott is expected to name a lieutenant governor this morning who also will be his running mate in the November election.

The Republican Party of Florida tweeted late Monday that a "major announcement" was coming today and to follow its Facebook page where you can "be the first to know the next lieutenant governor." Scott posted the message on his own Facebook page.

Added to the RPOF announcement on Scott's page was the message, "Major announcement tomorrow. Spread the word!"

The announcement came after The Miami Herald reported Monday morning that former state House majority leader and current Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera would get the job.

The Herald reported that Lopez-Cantera would be the state's first Hispanic lieutenant governor and could help Scott in Miami-Dade, which Democrats need to win by large margins in November.

The governor's office announced Monday that Scott will be in Miami today to make a budget announcement involving the state Department of Children and Families.

The lieutenant governor's office has been empty since Carroll stepped down March 12, after law enforcement officials raided Internet cafes across the state.

Carroll previously did consulting work for Allied Veterans of the World, a key target of the investigation.

Since that time, a number of names have been mentioned for the role, including Orange County schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, St. Johns County schools Superintendent Joseph Joyner, Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine.

Last week, longtime Tallahassee activist Barbara DeVane filed a lawsuit at the Florida Supreme Court that contends Scott broke state law by failing to appoint a successor.

DeVane also claimed Scott's decision to leave the post unoccupied upsets the order of succession and that the "state would be powerless to respond" if a crisis occurs and Scott is for some reason unavailable.

If Scott were unable to fulfill his duties before a lieutenant governor is named, Attorney General Pam Bondi would take over as governor.

"I just think it's time he does his job," DeVane told The Associated Press. "It's been nine months. A woman could have conceived and delivered a baby in that time."

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