Rick Scott's Staff Running Thin -- Top Adviser Resigns, Chief of Staff Demoted

Only six months into office, Gov. Rick Scott is running a little low on friends for his executive team.

Mary Ann Carter -- the governor's policy adviser -- handed in her resignation letter today, saying she needed to spend more time with her family.

Carter's announcement comes one day after Scott reassigned his chief of staff, Mike Prendergast, to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

"I can think of no better advocate on behalf of Florida's 1.6 million veterans, their families, and survivors than Mike Prendergast," the governor says in a statement. "His devotion to duty and commitment to our military men and women will be evident in the way he advocates for their health and economic well-being."

That looks like the governor's way to scoot around the fact that Prendergast was booted from the position as Scott's chief of staff.

Prendergast's replacement has not been selected.

It was an odd spot to have Prendergast in the chief of staff spot to begin with, seeing as the guy had zero experience working in state government.

Prendergast, who spent 31 years in the military, did try to run for a U.S. House seat in 2010 -- but that didn't work out too well.

On the other hand, Carter -- who practically ran Scott's office -- is heading back to her home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

"I have family obligations that demand my attention and I want to return to my business practice as another election cycle begins," she says in her resignation letter. "Although state government is not ultimately for me, I remain grateful for the opportunity to have served."

Amid the staff shakeups in Scott's office, Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff was quick to issue his response:

After destroying over 100,000 jobs as Governor, slashing funding for Florida's schools, and doing real harm to the quality of life in our state, Floridians have rejected Rick Scott & his extreme job destroying agenda.

The Sunshine State sees that this Governor is focused solely on imposing his extreme Tea Party agenda rather than doing what is right for Florida. Rick Scott simply doesn't understand what average Floridians are facing during these hard economic times, and he remains completely out of touch with our state.

Rick Scott can fire all the staff he wants, but it won't bring back the 100,000 jobs he has destroyed as Governor.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley