Governor Rick Scott is earning praise and jeers for naming one of his staunchest allies, former Republican lawmaker Jimmy Patronis, to the Cabinet post of Chief Financial Officer.
Scott chose Captain Anderson’s, the Patronis family’s Panama City eatery and a frequent campaign backdrop, to make the announcement.
Patronis choked back tears twice as he thanked his wife and children for their support.
“As your next CFO, I want Florida to be a place where government does its job fairly, predictably, and so workers can have great jobs at great Florida businesses.”
A handful of Republicans praised the choice, but the Florida Democratic Party accused Scott of, “propping up another yes man.”
Patronis served in the Legislature before Scott appointed him to the Public Service Commission in 2014, and last year, to the Constitution Revision Commission.
Patronis was one of Scott’s earliest and most ardent supporters. He replaces Jeff Atwater, who is leaving to be an administrator at Florida Atlantic University. The Cabinet post pays $128,000 a year.