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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Juan Zapata predicts Rep. Jennifer Carroll for Rick Scott's running mate



Juan Zapata, seen as a serious contender to be Rick Scott's running mate, said he probably wouldn't take the job if it were offered to him. "I'm pretty much done with Tallahassee."

He said there's a last-minute push for Kim Berfield but that Jennifer Carroll is his favorite. Carroll had a diploma-paperwork issue in her past, but Zapata said her positives outweigh the negatives: A black Republican military woman from a conservative area.

"I'd say he's 60-70 percent there," said Zapata, who has known Scott for years and spoke with him frequently during the Republican primary.

Scott's delegates have reached out to one person who likely turned them down: Toni Jennings. She hasn't returned calls and had Oscar finally call me last week to say no comment. There were also a smattering of possible picks in Central Florida -- commissioners and prosecutors. But no go. Scott's personal attorney is helping to vet the candidates.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:26am]


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