Governor to appoint Florida’s first Hispanic lieutenant governor
January 14th, 2014
11:54 AM ET
8 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. Al-NY,NY

    minority outreach........naming a true-blue GOP shill from the one group (Cubans) that leans right politically. Good job Rick.

    January 14, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    “Carlos Lopez-Cantera will be a major part of our agenda to build an opportunity economy in Florida,”
    --------------------------------------------
    Whatever! You're a corrupt governor. Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees. Is it because the labs where those urinalysis will be done are owned by you?

    January 14, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    BFD. We had a Hispanic Republican Governor (Martinez) from 1987 until 1991. Why is this even news?

    January 14, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Warren

    What BS the only reason he was picked was for the Hispanic Vote. Who is going to fall for that..

    January 14, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Warren

    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.

    This says it all....

    January 14, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    That'll fix everything! Go Go Gadget OUTREACH!!!

    January 14, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Deputies searching Justin Bieber's home in connection with egg-throwing incident, LA County sheriff's department says."

    Clearly, the MSM is trying to distract from Bridgeghazi haha

    January 14, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees."
    --------
    Those of us who work in the dreaded private sector are subject to drug testing – why shouldn't those in the public sector be as well?

    January 14, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Fair is Fair
    "Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees."
    --–
    Those of us who work in the dreaded private sector are subject to drug testing – why shouldn't those in the public sector be as well?
    -------------------------------------–
    No argument there. My argument is that the governor is solely proposing this to line his pockets. You don't see the conflict of interest in what he's attempting to do? Come on Fair!

    January 14, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    "Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees."

    Those of us who work in the dreaded private sector are subject to drug testing – why shouldn't those in the public sector be as well?
    ------------------–
    "Whatever! You're a corrupt governor. Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees. Is it because the labs where those urinalysis will be done are owned by you?"

    You shouldn't cherry pick someone's words to make it appear that they're saying something that they're not. Besides, when it is blatant as this example, all it that it achieves is that it takes your credibility down a notch because of the cheap shot.

    I really just wanted to add that I believe the Governor wants the employees to pay for it. Since you brought it up, does the private sector make their employees pay for drug testing?

    January 14, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Malory Archer

    BFD. We had a Hispanic Republican Governor (Martinez) from 1987 until 1991. Why is this even news?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Because most people outside of Florida probably didn't know that Mallory. The Repubes bank on voter ignorance to convince folks into thinking that their Hispanic outreach program included promoting Hispanics from within.
    More like using Hispanincs from within...and without.

    January 14, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Duke

    Ok, appointing a Hispanic is good. The property appraiser from a vote rich city to help smoothover your other proplems?

    PANDERING!!

    And I still have to deal with this fool...

    January 14, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    "I really just wanted to add that I believe the Governor wants the employees to pay for it. Since you brought it up, does the private sector make their employees pay for drug testing?"
    -----–
    "You believe"??? Prove it. You cant – because it's not true.

    January 14, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Enough is Enough

    @ Dominican Mama – are you Dominican or American? Pick one.

    @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? They can take money that I earn but aren't subject to the same requirements as me – I find that to be ridiculous.

    January 14, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "I really just wanted to add that I believe the Governor wants the employees to pay for it. Since you brought it up, does the private sector make their employees pay for drug testing?"

    "You believe"??? Prove it. You cant – because it's not true.
    --------------------------------
    I'll take that as "no.: Thank-you, very much.

    Let's begin with the fact that Florida passed a law that required people applying for welfare to go out and pay for their drug test. I suggest you Google it. The same was the case with state employees. I suggest that you Bing that one. LOL. Republicans are cheapskates, and don't have to search the web to prove it.

    January 14, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    You shouldn't cherry pick someone's words to make it appear that they're saying something that they're not. Besides, when it is blatant as this example, all it that it achieves is that it takes your credibility down a notch because of the cheap shot
    -------------------------------------------------
    Both her and tom l have a habit of doing this Rudy, distorting or "editing" people's words and posts in order to make it fit their non-point.
    Glad you called them out on it.
    I often choose to not engage when they resort to this type of tactic in order to see their name up in print.

    January 14, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Lolo

    Trying to get that Hispanic vote are we now. Floridians do not fall for it. Once a liar always a liar and that is the GOP/TP Klan. They know that they can not win with the older white voters or just white votes period. There is no way people are going to vote for the truly conservative crowd today (too looney). They have shown their true colors to the world over.

    January 14, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ""Whatever! You're a corrupt governor. Explain to the people why you're trying to drug test state employees. Is it because the labs where those urinalysis will be done are owned by you?""

    Not to mention his nonsense about drug testing people receiving social assistance like food stamps, etc. Same lab.

    And yes, Fair, he helped start Solantic Corp. in 2001 and transferred all his stock into a trust with his wife's name on it. It's a pretty thin disguise for having an actual pecuniary interest in generating drug testing business via legislative/executive action. It also fits with Scott doing things like kicking 3 million off Medicaid into private managed care plans or defunding public health departments. Bowling, now the head of Solantic, was someone he worked with at Columbia/HCA when the whole Medicare fraud scandal hit and the company ended up paying $1.7B in fines. 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.

    January 14, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Gurgyl

    GOP thugs think people are stupid.....

    January 14, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Fair – I think this is one where you are wrong. He wants to drug test all people on food stamps as well at their own expense, but as a public official, he refuses to pee in the cup himself.

    January 14, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. current state of the union

    Again, the gop shows just how stupid they think minorities are, have they no shame? And the question everybody really asks, how the hell did this crook get elected, kinda reminds me of Christie, in charge of it,, but had no idea they were up to no good. Largest Medicaid fraud EVER, no charges, he was CEO, CFO, and had no idea, you really have to be mentally challenged to vote gop these days.

    January 14, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    And before I forget: the Solantic stock = $62M+, the largest asset in his $200M+ piggy bank.

    January 14, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. current state of the union

    Or rich.

    January 14, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    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.

    January 14, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    All people in the public sector, except Scott and Trey Radel, have to be drug tested.

    January 14, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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