Minutes after it became official that Rep. Chris Dorworth, a projected future House Speaker, had been ousted from office, the Republican leadership of the Florida House announced plans for his replacement.
Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, will take Dorworth’s place as House Speaker in 2014, after his Republican colleagues voted for him unanimously.
“I am deeply grateful to my colleagues for trusting me with the important role as their future leader in the Florida House,” said Crisafulli, in a statement. “I understand the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders, and I know with the support of the House, we will set forth a bold agenda that honors Floridians over the next four years.”
Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, lost to political newcomer Mike Clelland, despite outspending his opponent heavily. It was one of the largest upsets in the recent history of the Florida House.
Though the results in Dorworth’s razor-thin race had not been finalized last week, Republican lawmakers began jockeying for power once it appeared that Dorworth might lose.
Other names that emerged for future Speaker included Reps. Charles McBurney and Erik Fresen.
In the end, Crisafulli prevailed. The upcoming Speakerships through 2020 have now been set.
See the press release from Speaker Will Weatherford, below:
Florida House Republicans Unanimously Select Rep. Steve Crisafulli as their choice for
Speaker-Designate for 2014-2016
A United Class of 2008 puts forth candidate to lead the House of Representatives
Tallahassee, FL – Representative Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) has been chosen by the Republican members of the Florida House of Representatives as their choice for Speaker-designate for the 2014-2016 term. The unexpected race for Speaker occurred as a result of 2012 elections in Florida. Although leadership races can be difficult and drawn out, the 2008 Class of House Republicans united behind a single candidate and put forth Rep. Crisafulli for consideration to the entire Republican House Caucus.
“I am deeply grateful to my colleagues for trusting me with the important role as their future leader in the Florida House,” said Crisafulli. “I understand the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders, and I know with the support of the House, we will set forth a bold agenda that honors Floridians over the next four years.”
“I am proud of the way our Republican House members have handled the adversity that has come our way over the past week,” said Speaker-designate Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel). “The maturity of the caucus and the seriousness in how they have approached this matter bodes well for the future of the House.”
About Steve Crisafulli
Crisafulli, a native Floridian, was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and has been reelected subsequently. His cousin was Florida Governor Doyle E. Carlton and he is the grandson of Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Vassar B. Carlton. He is married to Kristen Brown Crisafulli. They have two children, Carly and Kennedy. During his service in the House of Representatives, Crisafulli has earned a reputation as a pragmatic conservative and consensus builder. His expertise as a small businessman has guided his legislative priorities including education, improving the small business climate and promoting responsible growth policies in Florida.