Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott said tonight the transition to his Jan. 4 inauguration has been "a lot of work." But his search for agency heads and other appointments could include "a lot" of holdovers from Gov. Charlie Crist's administration.
"I'm sure there is a lot of good people that the governor has found," Scott said. "I'm sure there will be a lot of people that stay."
Scott and his wife, Anne, were in Tallahassee to join Crist and Crist's wife, Carole, at a symbolic lighting of the Menorah at the Governor's Mansion. (Hanukkah doesn't start for two more days.) After the lighting, Scott and Crist held hands as they danced the horah with several children.
Before the festivities, they spent three minutes answering questions from the press.
Q: How is the transition going? What are you learning, what are you discovering?
SCOTT: "It's a lot of work." (laughs) "As you know, what we're going through is trying to surround myself with the best people. And then going through and putting together a good transition team so they can come back and give me good ideas of what we ought to be doing. So it's been fun. I like all the people."
CRIST: "It's been great for us, too. One of the things that I think is so important is to have a seamless transition. And we both feel a sense of duty, that we owe that to the people of Florida. And so it's been wonderful, a wonderful working relationship and a lot of fun and a lot of hard work for Shane and the others that work on our respective teams.
SCOTT: "So, Gov. Crist and I have known each other for a long time. And so, he and his team have been great to work with. And so we look forward to finishing a smooth transition and having a great four years."
Q: You've raised $830,000 for your inauguration. You know the litany of economic problems Floridians are facing. What is an appropriate amount to raise and spend on an inauguration party?
SCOTT: "I'm not sure what the right number is. As you know, we're also raising money for Wounded Warriors. I think it's important to have a celebration. And also I think it's important to raise money for a great cause such as Wounded Warriors."
Q: You're trying to attract people from the private sector to join your administration. Is it a challenge to find people willing to sacrifice a private sector salary for less pay in state government?
SCOTT: "We're finding good people. There's a lot of people that want to serve, no different that what Gov. Crist has done and what I'm doing. There's a lot of people that want to serve the state. And they're not doing it because they're going to make the most money. They're doing it because they want to be part of improving this country and improving this state. And so, I feel very confident we're going to find good people."
Q: Are you going to replace everyone in the Crist administration or will there be some holdovers?
CRIST: "He's certainly replacing me." (laughs)
SCOTT: "Well, Gov. Crist will be hard to replace. I'm sure there is a lot of good people that the governor has found and I'm sure there will be a lot of people that stay."
Q: Gov. Crist, you made a Public Service Commission appointment today. Why wait until so late in the game?
CRIST: "Well, we just didn't want to have a vacant seat there. Before making that appointment, it was a four-member panel. And you could have had some gridlock. So we just wanted to make sure that didn't happen."