TALLAHASSEE, Fla. 40 year old Spanish born Carlos Lopez-Cantera was tapped by Governor Rick Scott Tuesday to be his Lt. Governor and running mate in the 2014 re-election effort. Lopez Cantera brings legislative experience to the job and has a personality not unlike the Governors.
Governor Rick Scott first made the announcement of a new Lt. Governor on Facebook. He's taken his time to fill the job. His first running mate, Jennifer Carroll, resigned ten months ago after being linked to an internet cafe accused of wrongdoing. In Miami, Scott said he took the right amount of time in picking the state’s first Hispanic Lt. Governor.
"The economy is turning around and that is in great part to the leadership of this man, Rick Scott. I thank him for his leadership, thank him for the opportunity."
Carlos Lopez-Cantera spent eight years in the State House, rising to majority leader. He was elected property appraiser in Miami Dade County in 2012.
Governor Rick Scott ran as an outsiders to Tallahassee politics but he has picked a consummate insider to be his number two.
Senate President Don Gaetz of Niceville calls Lopez Cantera a wise choice. "He learned how to coalesce widely varying opinions in order to bring a consensus to the floor and get legislation passed."
State Sen. Tom Lee was on the first short list for the job and reportedly turned it down. "I know there were a lot of people involved in that discussion over a protracted period of time and, like I say, I'm very happy with the choice he has made."
Democrats called Lopez-Cantera “the poster child for what is wrong with Tallahassee today, an ultra-partisan career politician.” Barbara Devane sued two weeks ago to try and force Scott to fill the office. She’s glad he did, but. "I don't believe he was good on any of the issues that I represent, mainly woman."
State law gives Scott total discretion for the pick and no confirmation is necessary.
Lopez-Cantera is stepping down from a four year job as Property Appraiser making 167,000 dollars a year. The Lt. Governor’s job is up in January unless the team is re-elected and pays $120,000.