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Little-known FL Dem announces CFO campaign in dark of night


It's 10:13 p.m., do you know who your Democratic CFO candidate is? Well, just wait 60 seconds, then.

At 10:14 p.m., the oddest of all times for a political announcement, businessman William Rankin announced he'd challenge state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

A retired vet, businessman and former Ohio state treasury official, Rankin has a good bio on paper. So maybe the dark-of-night-campaign announcement forshadows a dark-horse campaign.

But already you have to wonder about the success of a campaign against a seasoned and well-funded pol like Atwater. Still, compared to the last Democrat running for the office, Allie Braswell, Rankin doesn't look as if he'll embarrass the party.

Here's the press release:

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Retired US Army Veteran and businessman William Rankin announced today he is running for the Democratic nomination for Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.

Rankin is the former Director of Asset Management for the Ohio State Treasury, former Director of Florida’s statewide 2000 Census operation, and a former Outreach Director for the U.S. Congressional 2000 Census Oversight Board.

William Rankin said, “I am excited to join the race for CFO. This campaign is about us, the people of Florida, and bringing the voice of the people back to Tallahassee.  We must promote ideas and actions that benefit our economy and restore public trust in our government. This campaign is about what we can do together to bring political balance, compassion, and common sense to the state capital.”

“I believe in my fellow hardworking Floridians.  We deserve a breath of fresh air and a fair minded state leader who will look out for every Floridian.  I will bring to Tallahassee new vision and leadership that promotes fairness and prosperity for the people of the state,” added Rankin.

Rankin, 53, the father of two grown children, is originally from the Midwest.  Rankin fell in love with Florida when he came to join the state’s 2000 Census efforts, and has been a resident every since.  Rankin’s humble background enables him to understand the everyday struggles of fellow Floridians.  These challenges include economic opportunities, stable job environment, competitive public education, affordable and accessible health care and housing in the state.

At the Ohio’s State Treasury, Rankin was responsible for the accountability and safe keeping of Ohio’s over $120 billion public trust and public retirement funds.  In that position, Rankin used his professional experience and creativity to restructure and streamline operations.  Rankin implemented new technologies, improved employee efficiencies, and reduced costs to the state. As CFO, Rankin plans to do the same at Florida’s Department of Financial Services and at the State Board of Administration (SBA).

As a Special Agent for the Army, Rankin specialized in economic fraud criminal investigations.  In that role he also performed Crime Prevention Analysis on government agencies to reduce and deter fraud, waste, abuse and theft.  He also implemented innovative policies and procedures in those agencies, and again, he plans to do the same for Florida as CFO.

During the course of his campaign, Rankin, who holds a degree in Business Administration and Economics, promises to address important issues that affect every Floridian such as full implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) and insurance reform to name a few.