Florida Gov. to name ally as chief financial officer

Gov. Rick Scott to Name Jimmy Patronis Florida CFO

Gov. Rick Scott to Name Jimmy Patronis Florida CFO

Rick Scott turned to a political ally to fill one of the state's highest elected offices.

Scott on Monday will announce he's appointing Republican Jimmy Patronis to replace Jeff Atwater as chief financial officer.

Patronis, who helped his family run a well-known restaurant in Panama City, now sits on the state panel that regulates utilities.

A Florida State University graduate, Patronis will be sworn in Friday to the $128,972-a-year job, joining Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on the Cabinet.

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By turning to Patronis, Scott tapped someone who is expected to be a strong supporter of the governor.

"He brings lots of experience, not only in the state and in the public sector, but the private sector", Griffitts said.

Patronis said that he was honored to be selected for the position and was excited to be involved in Florida's continued growth. "As Florida's next CFO, I want Florida to be the place where government does its job fairly and predictably so workers can find great jobs at great businesses".

After Atwater announced he would leave the CFO post, numerous names were mentioned as possible replacements They included Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former state Rep. Tom Grady of Naples, state Sens. Joe Gruters, a state legislator from Sarasota who helped run President Donald Trump's campaign in Florida, also told the governor he was interested.

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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.

Scott has called a news conference to make the announcement at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Captain Anderson's Restaurant. The position serves as the state's treasurer and oversees various agencies that serve to regulate insurance and financial industries in Florida. The job pays almost $129,000 a year.

"I truly believe every family that every family, from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami to the Florida Keys, should have every opportunity to succeed here", said Patronis. Under state law, both must agree on the appointment.

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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