On Thursday, former Gov. Jeb Bush announced he was supporting state CFO Jimmy Patronis’ effort to stay at his current post.
Patronis was named to the post by Gov. Rick Scott last year after Jeff Atwater resigned to take a position at Florida Atlantic University. State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, is expected to challenge Patronis in the Republican primary at the end of August. Lee ran for the CFO post in 2006 but lost to Democrat Alex Sink in the general election.
Bush praised Patronis and pointed to his record in the private sector.
“Jimmy Patronis is a tireless worker and completely devoted to doing what’s best for Florida above all else,” Bush said. “Those qualities are all too rare in politics, and essential for a statewide leader who is charged with keeping Florida in excellent financial health and overseeing our insurance market to ensure all Floridians are treated fairly. As a small businessman, Jimmy understands how to keep our state growing by securing high credit ratings, and through his role as State Fire Marshal, Jimmy is protecting those who protect us by fighting for improved mental health and cancer benefits for Florida fire fighters. I am proud to support Jimmy as he campaigns for another term as CFO.”
Patronis looked to tie himself to both Bush and Scott on Thursday, saying that their support will help his first statewide campaign. Before being named to his current post, Patronis served in the state House and on the Public Service Commission (PSC).
“I am humbled to have the support of Governor Jeb Bush,” Patronis said. “The mark he forever left on Florida as a successful two-term governor has been a tremendous influence on me and he will continue to be someone who’s counsel I am honored to have. Governor Bush’s support, along with Governor Rick Scott’s, is giving our campaign tremendous momentum as we kick off 2018.”
Former state Sen. Jeremy Ring is running for the Democratic nomination in the CFO race.