By: Mike Vasilinda
June 12th, 2013
Three months ago tomorrow, Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned over her involvement with an internet gambling operation. Her job has yet to be filled, but the Governor appears to be getting closer to a decision.
Florida hasn’t had a Lt. Governor for three months, but that’s nothing new. The state went without a second in command for 80 years prior to the latest constitution. Governor Rick Scott said in early May, that he was focusing on a successor to Jennifer Carroll, who resigned mid controversy on March 13th. “I’m going to do it in a methodical manner”, said Governor Rick Scott.
Now speculation centers on another African American woman, Orange County School Superintendent Barbara Jenkins. Scott singled her out in his State of the State address. “We need to honor you for your commitment to the teachers in your district and your dedication to student achievement,” says the Governor.
And Jenkins was at his side as he fought for teacher pay raises. “I want to commend the governor and the legislature for their work toward teacher pay raises. We are convinced that it is a time to reward our teachers for their hard work and for our great outcomes,” says Barbara Jenkins, Orange County School Superintendent.
Frank Brogan left the job of elected Education Commissioner to be Jeb Bush’s number two. He has this advice for Scott. “Pick somebody you know, like and trust. Those are the three elements I think that are critical to the role of Lt. Governor” says Frank Brogan, University Chancellor/ Lt. Gov 1999-2005.
The Governor’s office isn’t returning calls about their search for Lt. Governor, but until they name someone it would be the attorney general who would take over if something were to happen to Rick Scott.
Jenkins would take more than a 100,000 a year pay cut if she took the Lt. Governor’s job. She would also be joining an administration with an uncertain future.