Gov. Rick Scott and the current members of the Florida Cabinet met for the final time as a group Tuesday morning at the Florida Capitol. Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam are term-limited and will leave next month at the end of their second terms.
“This is a very special time. Florida has much to be grateful for,” said Putnam, who started the year with expectations of being the state’s next governor, but ended up losing in the primary to Ron DeSantis. DeSantis went on to win in the General.Election.
“We have so many blessings that the Lord has showered out over our state and during this season of hope, we count our blessings” Putnam added. “We come together as one Florida family and join together as a stronger, better state because of our togetherness.”
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is the only member of the Cabinet who will continue in his current position having been reelected last month as CFO. Patronis was appointed CFO last year when Jeff Atwater resigned to accept an administrative post at Florida Atlantic University.
In addition to Patronis, Scott is the only other member of the group who will remain in elected government, after winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in a closely contested battle with incumbent Bill Nelson that took two weeks to finalize.
“We’ve had the opportunity to work together, all of us, Jimmy (Patronis) is the newbie, for the last eight years,” Scott said. “This is our eighth (year) and last time together as governor and cabinet and it’s been a real joy.”
Bondi is the only member of the group who did not seek another elected position this year.
“It’s been a great eight years with all of you and I’ll miss all of you so much,” Bondi said. “Governor and first lady (Ann Scott), thank you for your friendship over the last nine years. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
“We’ve all become like families to each other and we all care deeply about each other and we’ll miss each other so much,” Bondi added.
The members will serve until January 8th, with the possible exception of Scott who could resign five days earlier to be sworn-in to the U.S. Senate.
In addition to DeSantis and Patronis, Attorney General-elect Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried will round out the new cabinet. Fried will be the only Democrat in the group and the first Democrat to hold a cabinet post in eight years.