Gov. Rick Scott to Name Jimmy Patronis Florida CFO

Amy Green  WMFE

Jimmy Patronis, a former Florida legislator and member of the state Public Service Commission, has been named to the state's vacant Chief Financial Officer position.

Patronis, who helped his family run a well-known restaurant in Panama City, now sits on the state panel that regulates utilities. He served for eight years in the House before being appointed by Scott to serve on the Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates utilities.

Patronis will replace Jeff Atwater, who stepped down from the Cabinet position to take a job as Florida Atlantic University's Chief Financial Officer and president of strategic initiatives.

Patronis was appointed by Scott to finish former CFO Jeff Atwater's term which run through next year. He was an early supporter of Scott when he first announced his run for governor seven years ago. "I know that he will bring his wealth of private sector experience with him to Tallahassee".

"I truly believe every family that every family, from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami to the Florida Keys, should have every opportunity to succeed here", said Patronis.

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Patronis said was honored the governor selected him for the post, and said he has spent his life trying to give back to his community.

"As Florida's next CFO, I want Florida to be the place where government does its job fairly and predictably so workers can find great jobs at great businesses", Patronis said. As chief financial officer, Atwater has overseen Florida's finances, helped make Cabinet decisions on issues such as preserving land and played a number of other roles, such as serving as the state fire marshal.

This is one of the most high-profile appointments Scott has had since he first took office in 2011.

After Atwater announced he would leave the CFO post, numerous names were mentioned as possible replacements They included Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former state Rep. Tom Grady of Naples, state Sens.

Democrat Jeremy Ring, a former state senator from Parkland and former executive with the internet firm Yahoo, is the only candidate who has opened a campaign account to run for chief financial officer. Patronis will be officially sworn into the job on Friday. Under state law, both must agree on the appointment.

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