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Gov. Scott considering short list of four for lieutenant governor

Gov. Rick Scott has four people under serious consideration to be his next lieutenant governor, including two from Tampa Bay, the Times/Herald learned Monday.

The governor's short list includes Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman, a former state House member; state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, a former Senate president; Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger; and Joseph Joyner, the appointed superintendent of schools in St. Johns County.

The governor's office declined to comment on specific names. "We will take the right time to find the right person," spokeswoman Melissa Sellers said.

The office of lieutenant governor has been vacant since Jennifer Carroll resigned on March 12. Not on Scott's short list is state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, who has been prominently mentioned in speculation about filling the vacancy. Nor are there any Hispanics or South Florida names on the Scott list, but it does not appear that an appointment is imminent.

In his most recent comments to capital reporters on the subject a week ago, Scott said: "I'm still reviewing it. There's a lot of great people around the state that could be great lieutenant governors, so we're still going through the process."

-- Steve Bousquet