Florida Governor Rick Scott has filled the vacant lieutenant governor’s job with former Republican House leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera, praising him for his business experience, and his ability to get things done in the legislature.Even though Lopez-Cantera is out of the Florida legislature, he is still regarded as one of the most likable former legislators, that has proven to be able to “get things done,” both at the state and municipal levels of government.
“You couldn’t get someone any better than Carlos”– Gov. Rick Scott
Lopez-Cantera’s close friend and former colleague in the Florida House, Esteban Bovo, also sang his praises, saying that Lopez-Cantera was the perfect pick for the job, due to the fact that he had the business acumen and governing experience needed to fill the job.
“Carlos will help the governor develop and implement policy.“-Fmr. Rep. Esteban Bovo
And then there is Senator Marco Rubio. According to Rubio, he and Lopez-Cantera have been amigos for 20 years, and believes him to be a “great pick” for the job.Before Lopez-Cantera was picked by Scott, Rubio was quietly hoping that his friend would be chosen, so a Rubio response to the news is expected.
The Shark Tank reached out to Rubio shortly after the announcement was made. When asked about his thoughts about Lopez-Cantera being chosen, Rubio replied:
“He is a great pick! I have known Carlos for almost 20 years. He and his wife are close personal friends, and I am proud of what he has accomplished. He was a great selection, and will do a great job.” –Senator Marco Rubio
Lopez-Cantera was not up for consideration as far back as November 2012, as Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth was said to have been blocking Lopez-Cantera from even being considered for the job.According to sources within the Governor’s office, Scott’s pollster and mastermind of his 2010 gubernatorial win, Tony Fabrizio, first brought up Lopez-Cantera as a possible replacement for Jennifer Carroll. Tallahassee lobbyist Bill Rubin, then began his best efforts to push Lopez-Cantera, but was blunted by Hollingsworth, who was actively pushing Senator John Thrasher for the job.
It wasn’t until mid December before Scott caught wind of the relentless media push questioning why Lopez Cantera wasn’t being vetted, that Hollingsworth and Lopez-Cantera finally met to discuss the job in Orlando.
Could the LG job have been filled late last year, if not for the push-back on Lopez-Cantera emanating from Scott’s own office?