Governor to appoint Florida’s first Hispanic lieutenant governor
January 14th, 2014
11:54 AM ET
11 months ago

Governor to appoint Florida’s first Hispanic lieutenant governor

(CNN) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott tapped Carlos Lopez-Cantera, the Miami-Dade county property appraiser, to fill the state’s vacant lieutenant governor’s office on Tuesday. By accepting the position, the Republican becomes the first Hispanic lieutenant governor in Florida history.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Governor Scott to serve Floridians as their Lieutenant Governor,” Lopez-Cantera said. “I look forward to leveraging my experience with small businesses and government tax reform to help further Governor Scott’s mission of economic growth and job creation.”

Lopez-Cantera has a sizeable resume in southern Florida politics. Before coming property appraiser in 2012, he served eight years in the Florida legislature, including majority leader from 2010 to 2012.
The lieutenant governor’s office has remained vacant since March 2013, when Jennifer Carroll resigned amid her role in an allegedly corrupt veteran’s charity.

“Carlos Lopez-Cantera will be a major part of our agenda to build an opportunity economy in Florida,” Scott said in a release about the appointment. “Carlos’ leadership experience will make him a vital part of ensuring the passage of our $500 million tax cut package this year. And his business experience and expertise in cutting taxes and government regulations will support small business growth and success.”

The appointment of Lopez-Cantera – a Spanish-speaking, Cuban American – does not just fill a vacant office. The nomination will likely help Scott in his 2014 reelection bid, as the lieutenant governor will likely help the struggling governor with a crucial constituency: Hispanic voters, particularly those in Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county.

Scott, whose polls have been down since he was elected in 2010, is likely to face off with Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who is running for the governor’s mansion as a Democrat just a few short years after leaving the Republican Party. Both Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report – non-partisan political handicapping publications – have the race as a toss-up.

“If anything,” Lopez-Cantera told the Tampa Bay Times in December 2013, “I want to help beat Charlie Crist.”


Filed under: Florida
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Fair – Yup, you are wrong.

    January 14, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Dominican Mama – are you Dominican or American? Pick one.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Don't have to. I'm not thinking about running for office. Deal with it.

    January 14, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Tell it like it is.

    I think it is a good move, why would anyone want someone like Chrst as Gov. He changes political parties like a chamelon, which ever way the wind blows. He would be bad for Fla, and drug testing for State employees what is wrong with that? If our fine men and women in the Military have to drug test, so should state employees. The problem is liberals constantly whine and complain, never have I seen a sorry bunch of people. Face it come 2014 Repubs will gain the Senate and 2016 Republicans will win the Presidency and start to put this country back on the road to Greatness, which Obama has destroyed.

    January 14, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. CryBabies

    Hey Libs...Do you always view the world as " the glass half empty"? What a bunch of "Crybabies".

    January 14, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Dutch – Why is it that I am subject to random drug tests as part of my employment yet some state workers and nearly all (if not all) welfare recipients are not?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Sounds like something you should take up with (1) your employer, and (2) your local congressman.
    Dutch's point which you're all very conveniently overlooking was and is that Governor I am Legend wants to have drug testing done in order to funnel said drug tests through a lab that he has a financial interest in.
    Conflict of interest.
    See Sniffit's post he went to Google for you guys seeing how your ilk treats Google as if it were your kryptonite.

    January 14, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Face it come 2014 Repubs will gain the Senate and 2016 Republicans will win the Presidency and start to put this country back on the road to Greatness
    -------------------------------------------------
    ....And I just won the Lotto.....

    January 14, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Tell it like it is.

    I think it is a good move, why would anyone want someone like Chrst as Gov. He changes political parties like a chamelon, which ever way the wind blows. He would be bad for Fla, and drug testing for State employees what is wrong with that?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    They're already being drug tested prior to being hired. They're also being tested in the event of an on the job accident. There's no random testing for private sector employers here in Florida, and there shouldn't be a double standard for government employees.

    January 14, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    This guy loses to Charlie Crist--you see this in a short while. This fake Rubio better wake up–run away.

    January 14, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey Scott ,this will be your lt. Governors shortest time ever in political office because we are going to KICK YOU OUT OF OFFICE in the November . Good luck in your new carrear and I hope it's jail!!!!!

    January 14, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Scott has done NOTHING for Florida sence being elected. Oh, I forgot, he has turn down all federal money for his state, turned done money for education, turned down money for high speed rail, turned down money for medicade which will hurt our hospitals and caused voter lines in 2012 elections trying to rigg the vote for Romney the tax cheat. Scott will be swept out with the rest of the GOP trash like radal, yahoo and Rubio will be gone in 2016, to bad we have to wait that long!!!!!

    January 14, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh. Can I not say "ha ha" when suggesting Rick Scott thinks he is going to win re-election? OK, then. How is this: I personally do not think Mr. Scott will be re-elected. Indeed. I am fairly certain he will NOT be re-elected.

    January 14, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    See Sniffit's post he went to Google for you guys seeing how your ilk treats Google as if it were your kryptonite.
    -------------------------------------------
    Hilarious! They probably have a DrudgeReport internet browser.

    January 14, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    Is Ted Cruz going to be GOP nominee?????
    PS: shhhhhh, male Sarah plains.

    January 14, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    In other words, what Rudy said is hearsay, because he cannot prove it. We're used to it.
    -----------------------
    Hey, I'm used to it, too. "Nice try, but you know we gotrcha."

    January 14, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    ""Sure, I'm not aware of a smoking gun, but if you think this all doesn't add up to smelling pretty fishy, you need to look closer."
    --–
    In other words, what Rudy said is hearsay, because he cannot prove it. We're used to it."
    ===

    My statement doesn't make Rudy's "belief" that Scott was trying to make public employees pay for their own drug tests into hearsay. Not sure what you're getting at here. I was talking about concrete evidence that shows Scott indeed has real and existing pecuniary interests in creating a market for more drug testing or increasing Solantic's potential customer base by doing things like purging people from the Medicaid program. Has he acted on them ad was that the specific motivation for his proposals that would do just that? We'd need a little more to prove it directly, but it still stinks to high heaven. Pointing that out has nothing to do with Rudy's statement.

    January 14, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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