If there was any doubt about the future political plans of Florida’s new Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Patronis put any doubt to rest on Wednesday by announcing his candidacy for CFO.
Patronis filed his paperwork with the state Division of Elections declaring his intentions to run for a complete four-year term in 2018.
“Gov. Rick Scott appointed me to this post in June; and I continue to work closely with him to guard your state tax dollars from fraud and abuse, and make sure government regulations are fair and predictable for Florida job creators,” Patronis wrote to supporters informing them of his decision. “I get up every day excited to do this job. I love what I do. I get to protect the hard-earned money of Floridians and help the governor in his mission to create more jobs.”
The 45-year-old Republican from Panama City was appointed in June to fill out the term of former CFO Jeff Atwater who resigned early in order to take a high-level position at Florida Atlantic University.
Until now, Patronis had not officially said whether he would seek a full term as Florida’s CFO, although he did create a political committee to raise campaign funds. The committee, “Treasure Florida,” had raised $222,750 through September
Before being appointed CFO, Patronis had served on the state’s Public Service Commission and was previously a member of the Florida House of Representatives.
State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, has announced his intentions to seek his party’s nomination. Lee, a former Senate president, made an unsuccessful bid for the CFO position in 2006.
Lee has not yet officially filed his paperwork to run. However, his political committee, called “The Conservative,” has raised $2.1 million as of Sept. 30.
There is currently one Democrat in the race. Jeremy Ring of Broward County, a former state senator and and a former executive at Yahoo, filed to run for CFO in May. By the end of September, Ring had raised a total of $159,373 and loaned $100,000 of his personal money to his campaign account. Ring’s political committee has about $115,000 available to be used.