Gov. Rick Scott's search for a new secretary of state didn't have to go far. His choice, revealed at a Capitol news conference Wednesday, is Ken Detzner, 59, a former beer industry lobbyist who held the same job on an interim basis for part of 2003 under former Gov. Jeb Bush.
"It's very important that we have a smooth transition and Ken will do that. He has experience," Scott said. "I'm confident he will work well with our other appointed officials." Scott said he'll count on Detzner to oversee a smooth 2012 election and a Viva Florida 500 celebration, a yearlong gala honoring Juan Ponce de Leon's arrival in Florida.
Detzner was for years the face of the beer lobby as the lobbyist for the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association. He succeeds Kurt Browning of Pasco County, who will resign Feb. 17 and return to his Dade City home. Detzner said he was visiting the governor's office on behalf of a lobbying client that does career training and was interested in sponsoring a future Scott "workday" when Scott's staff asked him if he wanted the job.
"I was down here on some other related business and they asked me if I'd be interested, and I said, 'Give me 24 hours.' I was very excited just to be asked," Detzner said. "I'm excited. This is one of the most fun jobs in state government."
-- Steve Bousquet