Senate President Jeff Atwater tapped Sen. J.D. Alexander to chair the Ethics & Elections Committee now that Sen. John Thrasher stepped down once he became head of the Republican Party of Florida. Atwater spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said Atwater chose Alexander, who was chair last year, because he was already on the committee. That way, she said, the president wouldn't have to tap someone from another committee and start a domino effect of "shuffling people around" from one committee to the next.
One of those people who wanted to be shuffled: Sen. Paula Dockery, a sometime-rival of Alexander. She wrote Atwater earlier today:
This letter serves as a notification of my desire to serve as chair of the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee, in addition to my current chairmanship of the Criminal Justice Committee. The people of Florida are rightfully demanding substantial ethics reforms. The chairperson that you select for this committee will be in a position to truly listen to the people and begin the restoration of the public trust.
I have been emphasizing this need for the past three years and have researched changes that would restore the integrity of our beloved institution, and my sincere desire to use my leadership skills for this critical purpose, as well as my record on transparency and open government makes me the logical candidate for the job.
Thank you in advance for your careful consideration in this matter.