Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, one of his allies in the Florida House, to the state appellate court.
Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, was a frontrunner for speaker of the House in 2020-22, but last year, Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, secured the votes necessary. Sprowls is an ally of Speaker Richard Corcoran.
This session, Eisnaugle voted against legislation that was high priority for Corcoran and Republican House leadership that would have gutting Enterprise Florida and restricting Visit Florida, both of which are pet projects for Scott. He also voted against term limits for appellate judges.
"I'm proud to have served in the Florida House," he said, before noting that he was eager to spend more time at home with his family in the new job.
Now, Eisnaugle will take a seat on the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which is based in Daytona Beach and handles appellate cases in Central and Northeast Florida. He replaces Alan Lawson, who Scott appointed to the Florida Supreme Court.
Eisnaugle will have to resign from the Florida House, prompting a special election to fill his Orlando-based seat, a swingy district that voted for Hillary Clinton last November and Mitt Romney in 2012.
Corcoran called Eisnaugle's appointment a "proud day" for the House.
Photo: Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando. (Photo courtesy of the Florida House of Representatives)