Two major political questions in Florida right now are predicated on the eventual decision of Gov. Rick Scott.
But he’s in no rush to provide answers.
One such decision: will he, as is widely expected, challenge Sen. Bill Nelson next year.
Nelson, already in campaign mode, is telling reporters he’s “scared as a jackrabbit” to run against Scott.
“In regard to the Senate race, I haven’t made a decision. I don’t think people like long races,” Scott told us regarding the first question.
“I didn’t get into the Governor’s race until April the year of the election. I’m going to continue to focus on my job as Governor. There’s a lot more to do,” Scott added.
“My primary goal is to get people a job,” Scott continued, noting his job creation total is already up to 1.3M.
Another major question: with the Legislative Session closer to the end than the beginning, who replaces outgoing CFO Jeff Atwater?
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who meets with Scott in Tallahassee on Tuesday morning, has been discussed as a potential replacement for Atwater.
“Lenny Curry’s been a good friend for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed working with him. He’s done a wonderful job as mayor.”
“CFO Atwater will be leaving at the end of the session – in a few weeks,” said Scott, who wants to find someone who will do the best job possible “for all the citizens of the state.”
Curry, who has a 70 percent approval rating in a just-released internal poll (including 60 percent with Democrats and Independents), has seen his political stock rise as his pension reform plan moves ever closer to becoming law.
A unique advantage that Curry – if the Jacksonville microcosm is dispositive – brings to the table: an ability to reach beyond the GOP base.
Curry is clearly on Scott’s radar. And, with the pension reform package expected to pass next week, if Curry were to leave, he’d be leaving the city with a plan to move forward on dispatching the currently crippling unfunded pension liability.