Just a few minutes before noon on January 4th, 2011, Rick Scott stood next to Governor Charlie Crist on the steps of the Old State Capitol Building, put his hand on the Holy Bible, and was sworn in as the 45th Governor of the State of Florida. When the cannons finished firing and the deafening roar from the fly-by of military jets finally subsided, Governor Scott was escorted by his security detail, a phalanx of reporters, and a handful of aides, through the courtyard and into the new capitol building. Once there, he signed four executive orders to fulfill campaign promises.
Scott is now reaching the end of his second term, and in January, a new governor will take the oath of office. We asked each of the top candidates, Republican and Democrat alike, what their first act as governor might entail. Here’s what each of them told us:
Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis – “Comprehensive restoration of civics in our public schools here in Florida. What unites us as a people are the fundamental ideas and enduring truths about God given rights, the proper role of Government and the rule of law. We have a responsibility to prepare people for citizenship and instill an understanding of our constitution.”
Republican Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam – “If it’s anything like the feeling of the inauguration to be Agriculture Commissioner, I’ll find myself in prayer. It is the overwhelming sense of responsibility that we have as governor of the 3rd largest state, the responsibility for 21 million citizens. If you don’t start that mission with prayer, you’re starting it on the wrong foot.”
Democrat Chris King – “After 20 years of Republican rule, the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund has been raided to the tune of $2 billion. Chris would issue a line-item veto threat to any raids of the Trust to protect funding for affordable housing.”
Democrat Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum – If elected, Governor Gillum “will fight to ensure that he’s able to appoint three Florida Supreme Court justices — not Rick Scott in his final hours in office.”
Democrat Jeff Greene – Jeff’s first act as Governor will be to propose legislation to provide two years of high quality, full-day Pre-Kindergarten for Florida’s 3-and-4-year-olds, raise teacher pay, cut the flow of public funds to private and charter “schools with no rules,” and equalize per-student spending so the quality of a child’s education isn’t dependent upon their zip code or the size of their parents’ paycheck. Florida’s schools are ranked 40th in the country — our public education system is in crisis. It’s time to put our students first, and Jeff Greene can get the job done.
Democrat Gwen Graham – “After serving Rick Scott with a lawsuit to protect the Supreme Court, I will sign a pair of executive orders that I have already drafted to immediately ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and to implement universal background checks on all gun sales,” Graham said. “I have no doubt the NRA will sue me to stop these commonsense proposals — but, I’ve beat them before, and I’m going to beat them again as governor.”
Democrat Party candidate Phil Levine did not respond to the question.