It took almost a year, but Rick Scott has finally named himself a new Lt. Governor. And it's Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
Scott announced his decision Tuesday morning.
The Madrid, Spain-born Lopez-Cantera becomes Florida's first Hispanic lieutenant governor, taking over for Jennifer Carroll, who resigned from the position last March following the controversy with her involvement with an internet-cafe company.
Lopez-Cantera, 39, is youthful, considered to have media savvy, and is Hispanic. But, most importantly, he's Hispanic.
See also: Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Has Resigned
Lopez-Cantera is something of a shot in the arm for Scott, who has been struggling in the polls.
I am proud to officially announce Miami- Dade Property Appraiser @LopezCantera will be our next Lieutenant Governor of Florida.— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 14, 2014
"I think there will be a little more Cuban coffee in the governor's office" -- New FL LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 14, 2014
"What's important is to have a great lieutenant governor," Scott told reporters Tuesday morning. "The fact he's so good is important to me. I love the fact he's Hispanic."
Lopez-Cantera told the Miami Herald that he took the job to be more than just a ceremonial face to Scott's re-election aspirations. He was given assurances that he'd have a voice in policy decisions. And Scott loves that Lopez-Cantera is, like him, a big fan of cutting taxes.
In a press release, Scott pointed out Lopez-Cantera's business experience and "expertise in cutting taxes and government regulations will support small business growth and success," as the main reasons he chose to have the Spaniard join the Voldemort Express.
"I look forward to leveraging my experience with small businesses and government tax reform to help further Governor Scott's mission of economic growth and job creation," Lopez-Cantera said.
"It wasn't an easy decision. I had a lot of sleepless nights" Carlos Lopez-Cantera on being new FL LG.— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 14, 2014
Before being elected as Property Appraiser for Miami-Dade in 2012, Lopez-Cantera served eight years in the Florida House. He chaired the Committee on Business Regulation and the Government Affairs Committee, and served as Majority Whip from 2009 to 2010 and as Majority Leader from 2010 to 2012.
Lopez-Cantera is a licensed realtor and has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami. He also attended Miami-Dade College. He and his wife Renee have two young daughters, Sabrina and Sofia.
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