Rick Scott picks Carlos Beruff as CRC chairman; Jeff Woodburn named executive director

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Rick Scott has selected Carlos Beruff, the Manatee County Republican who ran for U.S. Senate in 2016, to serve as chairman of the powerful Constitution Revision Commission.

“My goal for the CRC is to fight for policies that will ensure a strong future for Florida and I know Carlos also shares this vision,” said Scott in a statement Wednesday. “As we undertake this historic review, I am hopeful that this Commission will propose policies that build a legacy upon which the families and businesses in our great state will thrive for generations to come.”

FloridaPolitics.com first reported Scott was strongly considering naming Beruff as the chairman Wednesday morning. According to sources briefed on the governor’s plans, Beruff would agree not to run for governor in 2018 if selected.

The Governor’s Office also announced Wednesday that Jeff Woodburn would serve as the executive director of the Constitution Revision Commission. Woodburn currently serves as the governor’s policy director and will take over his new role beginning March 2.

“Jeff’s legal and policy expertise will be of tremendous value to us as we embark on the historic work of the Constitution Revision Commission,” said Beruff in a statement. “He has served Governor Scott in various leadership capacities since 2011, and he has one of the sharpest policy minds of any person in this state.”

The decision to bring Woodburn onboard was first reported by FloridaPolitics.com on Wednesday morning.

As executive director, Woodburn will be responsible for organizing the work of the commission, including the coordination of public meetings and the facilitation of the agenda among its 37 members.

See our full report from this earlier today below:

Rick Scott will announce his appointments to the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) as early as today and will tap Jeff Woodburn, currently the Policy Director in the Executive Office of the Governor, as the executive director, according to sources briefed on the Governor’s plans.

The CRC is the panel that meets every 20 years to suggest rewrites and additions to the state’s governing document.

Previous to his post in Scott’s administration, Woodburn served as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Executive Director of the Government Efficiency Task Force.

The Governor is also strongly considering naming Carlos Beruff, the Manatee Republican homebuilder who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016, as chairman of the Commission. If he is to serve as chair, Beruff would agree not to run for governor in 2018.

Scott will choose 15 of the 37 commissioners to the CRC.

Among the names expected to be named to the panel: lobbyist and Scott adviser Brecht Heuchan and former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis.

The state constitution says the commission must be “established … within (30) days before the convening of the 2017 regular session of the legislature.”

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Senate President Joe Negron have already announced their combined 12 picks. (Those appointments are here and here.)

Corcoran last week said he planned to disclose his nine picks next Monday, the day before Session begins.

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.