TALLAHASSE, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Patronis is going to ask voters to keep him in his current job as chief financial officer.
Patronis will officially file paperwork Wednesday to run for the Cabinet post in 2018. Patronis, 45, was appointed in June by Governor Rick Scott.
He says he wakes up every day excited to do his job.
"The challenge that I've got to oversee the states finances for the 19+ million people, and to know that I am the watch guard over their tax dollars, is incredibly important to me," Patronis says. "Something I take very seriously but something I look forward to trying to ask to do to earn the people's trust for another four years."
Patronis followed Jeff Atwater who stepped down to take a job at Florida Atlantic University.
Patronis, who helped his family run a Panama City restaurant, has never run statewide before. He was a member of the Florida Legislature for eight years.
Patronis backed Scott during his first run for governor when many in the GOP establishment were supporting another candidate. Scott is backing him even though other Republicans may run.
Patronis says he has a lot of work to do in his role.
"We'll continue to root out fraud, and we'll continue to protect the public's private information," he said. "Identity theft is a huge thing in our state, so those things are most on my dashboard right now."
Former State Senator, Jeremy Ring, a former executive at Yahoo and a Democrat, is also running.