FORT LAUDERDALE — Rick Scott's campaign slogan turns into reality today when he "gets to work" and prepares to take over as governor in January.
Scott will hold a news conference to announce details of his transition program, which will be based in Fort Lauderdale, where he has his campaign operation. He has two months to hire staff members, appoint leaders of more than two dozen state agencies and learn the basics of operating the nation's fourth-largest state, from open records laws to issuing executive orders in emergencies.
Scott is not expected to populate his administration with familiar figures, in part because his goal is to challenge the status quo in Tallahassee.
"I think one of the reasons people voted for me is they think I've got the attitude or the stamina or the fortitude — I don't know what the right word is — that I'm willing to upset the apple cart," Scott said. "Look, we've got to do business differently here now, and I think that's not the easiest thing to do. It's easier to go along."
The much-overlooked transition phase has added significance because Scott is still an unknown quantity, and his team of advisers is largely not familiar to Floridians. Scott has never run for office and acknowledges he does not know Tallahassee's political culture very well.
One adviser who will play a role in the transition is Enu Mainigi, a lawyer who has represented Scott in civil cases. A 1994 Harvard law school graduate, Mainigi is a partner in the Washington-based Williams & Connolly firm specializing in health care litigation.
Scott also plans to announce a transition advisory board composed of individuals who have had experience running state government. One likely appointee is Kathleen Shanahan, who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Jeb Bush and assisted Scott on debate preparations.
The first signs of the trappings of power were evident Wednesday. When Scott gave a victory speech, agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were by his side, giving him the protection a governor gets 24 hours a day.
Scott has said that he will not accept the $130,273 yearly salary and that he and his wife, Ann, will live in the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee instead of their multimillion dollar home in Naples.
Steve Bousquet can be reached at email@example.com or (850) 224-7263.