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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott's search for lieutenant governor remains on hold

Gov. Rick Scott has directed chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth to oversee the vetting of the next potential lieutenant governor, but the search has not yet begun in earnest.

"We're going to make the right decision at the right time," said Hollingsworth, who sounded this week as if no one in the governor's office -- least of all him -- is in a hurry to begin a search process likely to be all-encompassing.

After Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned March 12, Scott said he would take his time in the search for a successor and that nothing would begin until after the legislative session ended May 3. Then the budget, and its accompanying line-item vetoes, preoccupied Scott's senior staff, and now they are going through the laborious process of reading hundreds of pieces of legislation. The LG's office has been shut down and its four employees dismissed.

University of Florida political scientist Richard Scher recently gave Scott some unsolicited advice on the subject. "If I was advising Scott, I'd say what's the hurry?" Scher told the Naples Daily News. "Let's see how the political winds are blowing."

The embarrassing nature of Carroll's sudden exit, coupled with Hollingsworth's methodical, analytical approach to issues virtually ensures that the vetting process will be extensive and time-consuming. Once it does get underway, it will sap a lot of the energy of Scott's inner circle.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that local GOP chairman Joe Gruters has launched a petition drive in support of Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, for the lieutenant governor's post.

[Last modified: Friday, May 31, 2013 6:27pm]

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