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Political Analyst: Speculation About Lt. Governor Shortlist Part of Larger Strategy

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Florida Governor Rick Scott

June 14th, 2013 | WMFE- With the 2013 state legislative session in the history books, rumors are starting to fly about who Governor Rick Scott will choose as his Lieutenant Governor. Some political observers say it's part of a larger strategy.

Published reports even speculate that Orange County Schools Superintendent – and Democrat – Barbara Jenkins is on the short list for consideration to replace Jennifer Carroll, who resigned earlier this year.

90.7 political analyst Dick Batchelor says Governor Scott is following the politician’s playbook on how to pick a lieutenant governor while running for re-election- up to a point.

He says Scott will whip up interest the old-fashioned way – by putting at least one prominent name from each region of Florida on the list – like North Florida’s Senate President Don Gaetz in the Panhandle, and Superintendent Barbara Jenkins in Orange County.

But, Batchelor says, in the end it won’t be Gaetz or Jenkins for Scott.

"So he basically works his way around the state and floats names of incumbent and/or popular political figures but in the end I guarantee you he’ll go where his polling directs him and my inclination is to say that it will not be a Democrat," says Batchelor. 

"It would be a Republican, they will be female and they will be Hispanic."

 Batchelor says Scott needs to shore up support from women and Hispanic voters if he hopes to raise his 40% approval rating before the 2014 election, while reconnecting with his Republican base.

Governor Scott’s office released a statement saying he has not yet begun the process of looking for a Lieutenant Governor.


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