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Adam Hollingsworth blocks Rubio pal, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, from LG consideration


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.


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Quick correction

Quick correction: Lopez-Cantera is not Cuban-American. His family is from Spain. I think he may have even been born in Spain.

Belinda Mendoza

Just like I thought, Hollingsworth is pulling support away from Rick Scott at the peril of a Charlie Crist victory in November. Hollingsworth is drawing attention to himself and you’d think he’d be a little quiet in the wake of the news about him not having a degree he claimed he had. Not only is his job in jeopardy (or it should be), he’s making a big mistake in refusing to consider Carlos Lopez-Cantera for Lt. Gov. I don’t think Hollingsworth has a chance of becoming the next Lt. Gov. Again, Scott needs to fire Hollingsworth now.

Johnny Lugnuts

When you drop a deuce in the toilet, you need to flush it quickly, or the whole house starts to stink.

Hollingsworth is Rick Scott's #2.

ed jenkins

The citizens are quite pleased with the fiscal stewardship demonstrated by Scott who was initially doubted as a political novice and they believe he will again make the right choice for his assistant therefore no preliminary articles are necessary to guess who it might be.

Indie Thinker

Ed, you call cutting the budget so that disabled children are warehoused in nursing homes, "fiscal stewardship"?

ed jenkins

As we all are aware governments with their cold hearted bureaucrats are not the appropriate caretakers of the disabled. That is where charities come in and our state is full of extremely generous citizens who provide money voluntarily to many great charities. Confiscating taxpayer money in the name of various nice sounding causes always results in waste and poor care for those who need the help. None of this was ever meant to fall under government which is only to provide a judiciary to decide disputed of the citizens and a police force to protect them as well as some items which promote commerce such as roads.

John A.

Ed, you on drugs?

Indie Thinker

Actually, I just figured out today that Ed is enacting a parody of a Rick Scott supporter, and is trying to be funny. He's pretty good at it.

(For the record, the program in question was meant to keep disabled children at home, and OUT of the care of government.)


Lopez-Cantera was born in the Canary Islands (Spain). His dad was born in Cuba and is a US citizen; his mom was born in the US.

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