Senate President-designate Wilton Simpson has selected Sen. Aaron Bean as Senate President Pro Tempore and Sen. Kathleen Passidomo as Rules Committee Chair.
In a memo sent to senators Friday, Simpson asked Senators to vote for Bean and recognize Passidomo for her upcoming role.
Bean, of Fernandina Beach, has served in the Senate since 2012. From 2018 to 2020, he served as the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chair. From 1996 to 1999, he was a Fernandina Beach Commissioner and Mayor, then from 2000 to 2008, he served in the House of Representatives.
“As you know, Senator Aaron Bean has a contagious energy, boundless compassion for our state’s most vulnerable, and an abiding respect for each person he meets,” Simpson wrote. “First and foremost a family man, devoted to his wife Abby and their boys Bradley, Gray and Walker, Senator Ben brings a diverse range of personal and professional experiences to the Senate that allow him to relate to people from all walks of life and to build consensus without compromising principle.”
Added the incoming Senate President: “There is no question the impacts of the ongoing pandemic will change the look and feel of these next two years in ways none of us could have imagined when we first decided to run for office. Senator Bean’s authenticity, positivity and optimism, combined with his deep knowledge and experience in the legislative process, make him a perfect fit for the critical role of President Pro Tempore.”
Passidomo, of Naples, has served in the Senate since 2016 and was the Majority Leader from 2018 to 2020.
“Throughout her years of public service, Senator Passidomo has gained the respect of Senators on both sides of the political aisle by listening to the concerns each Senator brings forward and working to build consensus,” Simpson said. “She has exhibited sound judgment and a fair-minded, reasonable and thoughtful approach to decision making that, I am confident, will be a great benefit to the Senate over the next two years. Another important quality that often goes unseen is her dedication to maintaining a personal connection with her constituents, which I believe serves the Senate well.”
With the election now in the past, at least in Florida, legislative leadership and gearing up for the upcoming Session. Lawmakers will hold an Organizational Session later this month. Committee Weeks will begin in January ahead of the Session’s official start date in March.
House Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls announced on Thursday the House leadership lineup, which includes Miami Lakes Republican Rep. Bryan Avila as Speaker Pro Tempore and Port Charlotte Republican Rep. Mike Grant as Majority Leader.