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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott doesn't want to talk about a replacement for state surgeon general



Gov. Rick Scott doesn't have a plan to replace Dr. John Armstrong, his appointed surgeon general, who could be out of a job next Friday without Senate confirmation. Or, at least, the governor's not saying what the plan is.

Asked Wednesday who he might be considering to replace Armstrong, Scott wouldn't say.

"Dr. Armstrong has done a great job," he said, noting that Armstrong is battling colon cancer. "I'm appreciative of all his hard work. I'm hopefull he'll get through the Senate confirmation process."

That appears unlikely with not enough senators supporting Armstrong's confirmation in the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and President Andy Gardiner opposing a Senate floor vote without that panel's endorsement.

By March 11, when the legislative session is scheduled to end, Armstrong must be confirmed or Scott will have to replace him at the helm of the Department of Health. If the governor does have to replace Armstrong, the new surgeon general would have to be a licensed physician with advanced training or experience in public health.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 9:19pm]


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