It started as a trickle. Now it's becoming a roar.
Miami-Dade Republicans, who outnumber Republicans in any other county, are growing increasingly critical behind the scenes of Gov. Rick Scott and his chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, for refusing to consider Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera as lieutenant governor pick.
For Republicans here and outside of the Hispanic-heavy county, Lopez-Cantera has qualities few other Republicans do: He's a Spanish-speaking Cuban-American and can help shore up Scott's flagging poll numbers in a county where 72 percent of the GOP is Hispanic, he's a former Republican leader in the Florida House, he doesn't have a whiff of scandal about him, and he's a good friend and loyal supporter of Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
A number of Republicans in Miami-Dade still haven't forgiven Scott for what they see as double-dealing with a bill aimed at cracking down on Cuba investment. It's complicated, so read it here.
Lopez-Cantera, who can't be reached, isn't campaigning for the post. But a number of Republicans want him considered.
But Hollingsworth has said no to Lopez-Cantera, sources tell us, the conservative-leaning Sunshine State News and the Political Cortadito blog. We've all reported, along with Saintpetersblog, that Hollingsworth had positioned himself for the LG job.
"The buzz is that if he's not going to get the job himself, Hollingsworth 'wants somebody he can control' in place, and that somebody definitely would not be a Hispanic from South Florida," Sunshine State News reported.
It appears he wants Brandon state Sen. Tom Lee for the post, many speculate. While Lee, a former Senate president who implemented lobbyist reforms, has many good qualities, he has a few draw backs in the eyes of some in the pro-life community, a base of the GOP.
Lee was likely hoping to become Senate president again in the future, but state Sen. Wilton Simpson might have that locked up. And state Sen. Jack Latvala, who's emerging as a behind-the-scenes advisor to Scott, wouldn't mind replacing Lee with a more-reliable senator who would help Latvala win the post in three years.
But as for the LG pick, the problem for some Republicans is that Hollingsworth won't even consider Lopez-Cantera.
The displeasure among Republicans isn't helping Scott.
Earlier in the week, Sunshine State News also wondered why no one is calling for an investigation of Hollingsworth, who lied about his academic credentials in a prior job and didn't fully disclose them when he applied for a state appointment to Enterprise Florida, which The Miami Herald-Tampa Bay Times reported first.
The Sunshine State News pieces, however, are particularly damaging for Hollingsworth and Scott. They can't dismiss the stories and criticisms as being part of a phony liberal media conspiracy. Conservatives and Republicans are genuinely bothered.
And now Hollingsworth has earned a measure of Republican enmity that stretches from Miami-Dade to Tallahassee.