I think Governor Scott has done a marvelous job cleaning up the mess the reckless Charlie Crist left behind and has been a great governor overall. However, who he picks as LG may very well be a determining factor in a close election come next year.
So because the LG issue has been the talk of Tallahassee lately, I figured I’d throw in my $0.02:
Some have criticized the length of time it has taken to pick a LG; I’m not one of them. I believe it should be a thoughtful, deliberative process rather than a knee-jerk decision based on what benefits you personally (i.e., Charlie Crist tapping his chief-of-staff and campaign manager George LeMieux to fill a US Senate vacancy so he could warm the seat for him and fundraise while in DC).
That being said, criticisms and negative press will continue flowing until a pick is made. The lack of official information coming out of the governor’s office in regard to the LG issue is a vacuum that is and will continue being filled by the “unnamed insider” types leaking information to a hungry media. Whether the information is true or false is not the point: the point is, the governor’s office has little control over the information coming out. Naming an LG restores control on that issue.
Naming an LG also provides another voice and another set of boots on the ground to get your message out.
It is no surprise that Governor Scott, despite his many achievements, is still upside-down on his approval numbers. As such, the party, his campaign and he himself have to focus on bringing up those numbers by touting his accomplishments and staying positive. He is not yet in a position where he can tear down his opponent enough to win, especially if that opponent is Crist whose sunny (and vomitous) disposition is hard to crack.
But his LG can.
That person should be someone who was not a Crist supporter in 2010 after Crist proved himself to be the chronically-absent, corrupt, crony and reckless governor he was. Picking a Republican who supported Crist despite all that would only open the Scott campaign to charges of hypocrisy when they begin to highlight Crist’s abysmal record. As such, Scott needs to pick an LG with the moral authority to effectively tell the story on Charlie Crist–essentially, someone to be the attack dog while Scott himself remains positive.
That person, in my opinion, is Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser and former State House Majority Leader Carlos López-Cantera.
López-Cantera supported Rubio against Crist in 2010. As such, he has never been a Crist apologist, or anything close to one. If/when he attacks Crist, nobody will be able to say, “well, you still supported him for Senate after all that.”
López-Cantera is fluent in Spanish and can cut campaign commercials, appear on radio and television, and directly campaign to Hispanics. And perhaps most importantly, he is from voter-rich Miami-Dade County, which contains the largest number of Republican Hispanics in the state.
Unfortunately, The Miami Herald is reporting today that López-Cantera is being blocked by Scott’s Chief-of-Staff Adam Hollingsworth for consideration to be LG. This is based on the types of unnamed insider sources I mentioned above.
I’m only going by the Herald article here, but if López-Cantera is indeed being blocked because Hollingsworth feels he can’t “control” him, then I would argue this is a bad case of misplaced priorities.
I believe Carlos López-Cantera is a perfect fit for LG. He is a young, successful Hispanic with an attractive family; he has been elected and reelected to office several times; he has held his offices with the maturity and temperament the LG post requires; he has earned a clean, scandal-free reputation; and he is known as a no-nonsense straight-shooter, which will be necessary to counter the buffoonery that is sure to come from the Crist circus freak show.
Therefore the question I would ask Governor Scott is not, “why don’t you consider López-Cantera.” The question is, “what are you waiting for?”
WHO DO YOU THINK GOV. SCOTT SHOULD APPOINT AS HIS LT. GOVERNOR?
Cast your vote on the Sunshine State News poll here: