Jimmy Patronis named Florida CFO

Attorneys for Gov. Scott Defend his Veto of Money to Compensate South Florida Citrus Tree Owners

Gov. Rick Scott made it official Monday, formally announcing former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis will serve as the state's next Chief Financial Officer.

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

He served in the state legislature for eight years before being appointed by Scott to the FPSC in 2014.

In appointing Patronis to replace Atwater, Scott made him the likely frontrunner to win a full term as CFO in 2018.

Patronis also backed Scott during his initial run for governor seven years ago.

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

"This year marks the 50th anniversary of my family starting a business in Florida, and it has been my honor to be a part of its growth and success for much of my life", Patronis said Monday. 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.

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"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", Patronis said.

In a rare opportunity, Scott has the chance to appoint someone to the four-member Cabinet who will nearly assuredly vote in lockstep with him moving forward.

Several names have been floated with the chief financial officer position since Atwater announced he was leaving. Patronis hasn't indicated if he'll run to keep the job next year. Jeremy Ring, a former state legislator and executive at Yahoo, is the only Democrat to file as of this posting.

Atwater will step down from the position on Friday and Patronis will be sworn in the same day. The job pays almost $129,000 a year.

"I am honored to appoint Jimmy Patronis as Florida's Chief Financial Officer", said Scott.

In March, Patronis was among a number of political loyalists the governor appointed to the state Constitution Revision Commission.

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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