Jack Latvala on Rick Scott’s short list?

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Sunshine State News is raising the possibility that State Senator Jack Latvala is already on Governor Rick Scott’s short-list of possible replacements for Jennifer Carroll in the Lieutenent Governor’s chair.

Sources close to Gov. Rick Scott confirm that Latvala’s record as a moderate who frequently crosses the aisle to block hard-line conservative legislation would help move Scott to the center in his quest to draw more independent and Democratic voters for his re-election bid.

Medicaid expansion, pay raises for teachers, big budgets and now Jack Latvala could be the magic recipe for moderation that Scott strategists desperately seek.

Geography also makes a Latvala pick alluring, as he could cut into the former Gov. Charlie Crist’s Pinellas County base, should the Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat decide to take another shot at the governor’s mansion. 

As much as I would like to see Senator Latvala one heartbeat — or indictment — away from being Governor, the possibility of him joining Scott’s administration is a non-starter.

“Can you see me doing ribbon-cuttings?” responded Latvala to my asking what are the chances Scott would tap him for LG.

While I can’t see Latvala cutting ribbons, I have noticed lately him finding a kindred spirit in Scott. Both are successful businessmen and both have had difficulty being embraced by the GOP establishment. Latvala is even open to expanding Medicaid in Florida.

Maybe Latvala is a more likely choice than I first imagined.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.