If there was ever a doubt about sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis running for election in 2018, this latest development should probably eliminate it.
The former lawmaker and Public Service Commission member started a political committee for a possible run last week, and Tuesday an invite was sent out for a fundraiser hosted by Gov. Rick Scott benefiting the committee, “Treasure Florida.”
The fundraiser is set for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Universal Citywalk, the dining and retail district around the Universal theme parks in Orlando.
To attend, send an RSVP to Debbie Aleksander via firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 339-8116.
Patronis was appointed by Scott earlier this year after Jeff Atwater stepped down to take the CFO position at Florida Atlantic University. Since his appointment in June, Patronis has been taciturn about his 2018 plans, but Scott may have let slip the news last week after Republican state Sen. Tom Lee indicated he would enter the race later this year.
Patronis was one of Scott’s earliest and most vocal backers when he ran for his first term as governor and that loyalty looks like it will bear even more fruit. Scott said last week he would do everything he could to help Patronis win, even if he has to compete with Lee for the GOP nomination.
“He’ll have about a year and a half to be in office,” Scott said. “I know he’s considering whether he’s going to run or not. If he runs, I’m going to be a big supporter.”
So far, former Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring is the only candidate who has filed for the race. Since May, he has raised about $70,000 for his campaign account and has about $32,000 on hand. He has another $100,000 on hand in his committee, “Florida Action Fund PC.”
The invite is below: