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Gov. Scott says search for next LG will be 'internal'

Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that the search for his new lieuteuant governor will be headed by chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth, and he emphasized it will be "internal" with no vetting by outsiders.

"We're starting the process now," Scott said, speaking to reporters at the Governor's Mansion.. "We'll take the right amount of time because we want to get the right person that would do a great job at this."

Scott said Hollingsworth will first develop the criteria for the ideal candidate. The post has been vacant since March 12 when Jennifer Carroll resigned.

The Sunshine State News reported last week that former Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who is now a lobbyist, was assisting in the vetting of LG hopefuls, but Scott would not confirm the accuracy of the report.

"The process is an internal process," Scott said. "It won't be done externally."

Scott also said he and the governors of Mississippi and Louisiana have signed a letter to the federal government asking for an immediate end to one-day weekly furloughs of about half of Florida National Guard members because of the federal budget cutting exercise known as sequestration.

"This should stop immediately. We want our National Guard ready in case of a disaster," Scott said.

Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau