On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott turned to businessman Carlos Beruff, who tried but failed to knock off U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., off in last year’s Senate primary, to chair the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).
Beruff is the first of Scott’s 15 picks to sit on the 37-member CRC which meets every 20 years to review the Florida Constitution and propose potential changes for the voters to approve.
“I am proud today to appoint Carlos Beruff as chairman of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission,” Scott announced. “Carlos is a lifelong Floridian who has lived the American dream in our great state. A son of Cuban immigrants, Carlos started out as a small business owner and over three decades, grew his company and provided jobs to thousands of Floridians along the way. 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. 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.”
Beruff, a homebuilder with ties to Manatee and Sarasota counties, has served on the Board of Trustees of the State College of Florida (SCF) and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Scott also turned to Beruff when the governor had him lead his Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding.
During last year’s Senate race, while he did not endorse Beruff, Scott had kind words for him. Beruff also relied on a number of members of Scott’s team, including his former chief of staff Melissa Sellers, to help his campaign.
Despite that, Beruff failed to gain much traction in the Senate race. When Beruff entered the race in February, Rubio was on the sidelines, having said he would not run for a second term. Rubio announced at the last moment at the end of June that he would run for the Senate again, chasing out most of the Republican field, including two members of Congress in Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Canera and businessman Todd Wilcox. Beruff decided to keep his campaign going even as Rubio generally ignored him during the primary.
Despite losing to Donald Trump in Florida's Republican presidential primary back in March, Rubio bounced back nicely in the Senate contest. When the smoke cleared at the end of August, Rubio won the Republican nomination with 71 percent while Beruff pulled 19 percent.