By Tuesday's deadline, 33 people had applied for two vacancies on the Public Service Commission. They include former state legislators and PSC staff hoping to join the well-paying, but controversial state board.
Former State Rep. Jimmy Patronis, who is stepping down because of term limits, is among them. Patronis decided last year not to run for a seat on the Florida Senate, avoiding a nasty Republican primary against Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is now considered a shoo-in for the district now represented by his dad.
When Patronis announced last summer he would not run for the Senate, he said he looked forward to returning to his hometown of Panama City after eight years in public office to spent time with his family. Patronis said today he "can't shake public service" and felt a PSC position would allow him to remain in both worlds.
"I felt like it was a fit that I could serve my interests at home and still be able to take what I’ve learned and apply it to the citizens of the state of Florida," he said.
Members of the five-person PSC make $131,036 annually.
Incumbent Julie Imanuel Brown's term is up in January, but she has applied to be reappointed. She has to follow the same application process as the other 32 people interested in her job. The other open seat is occupied by Eduardo Balbis, who decided to step down when his term ends in January.
Among the other candidates:
- -Samuel Curtis Kiser, the PSC's general counsel who formerly served in the State Senate and the State House.
- -David J. Murzin, a former state representative who currently works as an aide for state Sen. Greg Evers
- -Marshall Wayne Willis, a longtime PSC staff member who was forced to resign in April.
- -Patrick John Sheehan, director of the state's Office of Energy
- -Gregory L. Scoville, former planning director in DeFuniak Springs sued the city after he was fired for refusing to comply with a random drug test.
- -Thomas Charles Larson, a member of the Sierra Club Florida executive committee and a former employee of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
- -Oliver Addison Parker, the former mayor of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.