As Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater transitions out of his role as Florida’s taxpayer watchdog and prepares for his new role as Chief Financial Officer and president of strategic initiatives at Florida Atlantic University, Governor Rick Scott has appointed former state Republican House member from Panama City, Jimmy Patronis, to take over.
Since bursting onto the political scene in 2010, Patronis has been a supporter and ally of Governor Scott. Patronis served in the Florida House from 2006-20014 and currently serves as a commissioner on the Florida Public Service Commission. When Patronis served in the Florida House, he was one of the most consistent pro-business legislators during his six year tenure in Tallahassee and he received a perfect 100 score from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Scott’s appointment of Patronis was a strong move and is seen as advantageous when it comes to ensuring a he has a friend in the cabinet who can help in advancing his agenda through the rest of his tenure as Governor. Aside from helping Scott with his legislative goals, Patronis is focused on the job at hand and was quick to dismiss a 2018 run, “There will be plenty of time to talk about it. I’ve got a lot to get up to speed on with the CFO’s office.”
For Floridians who were #TeamAtwater, the appointment is bittersweet as many waited and hoped for a new chapter and to add the moniker of Senator to Atwater’s resumé. Nevertheless, the appointment of Patronis is a welcomed choice for Floridians, including the diehard #TeamAtwater supporters.
It is no surprise that Patronis has big shoes to fill when it comes to replacing Jeff Atwater as CFO, but if Patronis’ time in the House and as a small business owner in Panama City is any indicator, the taxpayers in the Sunshine State are in good hands and Florida will continue to be a great place to do business.