Jeremy Ring has made it official.
The Margate Democrat became the first person to throw his hat into the 2018 Chief Financial Officer race, filing to run for the statewide office on Tuesday. Ring had been eyeing the seat, and earlier this year said he would make a decision after the 2017 Legislative Session.
A former Yahoo executive, Ring was first elected to the Florida Senate in 2006. He has described himself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. He served as the chairman of the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, and worked on pension-related issues. He also work with then-Senate President Andy Gardiner to push legislation to help people with disabilities.
During a speech in Tampa earlier this year, he admitted that his chances of capturing the CFO spot would require raising an “incredible amount of money,” and having a solid campaign team in place.
Another factor will be who Gov. Rick Scott appoints to fill the CFO position once Jeff Atwater leaves office. Atwater, who was elected in 2010, announced earlier this year that he was leaving before the end of his term to take a job at Florida Atlantic University. He’s expected to leave once the budget process is completed.
Many people believe whoever Scott appoints will run for the seat, likely giving them the advantage going into 2018.
Ring could have an advantage when it comes to fundraising. According to financial disclosure documents filed in 2016, Ring is worth more than $12.5 million. While he is capable of self-funding his campaign, he has indicated that isn’t the plan.