We've known since March this day would likely come. But today state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, formally applied to become FSU's next president.
There had been rumors ever since President Eric Barron stepped down that Thrasher wanted the job. Former FSU President Sandy D'Alemberte nominated Thrasher last week and a search advisory committee voted to interview him on June 11 ahead of all other candidates.
This came upon the recommendation of the search consultant, who said Thrasher's nomination was "casting a long shadow" that had scared off other potentially strong candidates from applying for the job.
In a four-page cover letter, Thrasher highlights his love for FSU, his alma mater, and his background in politics and fundraising acumen. He also submitted a resume; he told the Times/Herald earlier he hadn't needed to update it in years.
Meanwhile, the News Service of Florida reports that folks are already lining up to run for the Senate seat Thrasher would abandon if he gets the FSU job. And if a new person joins the Senate, it could break a reported tie in the race to become Senate president in 2016 between Joe Negron and Jack Latvala.
From the NSF:
Sen. John Thrasher hasn't been named president of Florida State University. At least not yet.
But in Tallahassee circles, it's widely assumed Thrasher will get the top job at his alma mater, and that means behind-the-scenes discussions and digging have already started about who might run for Thrasher's solidly Republican Northeast Florida Senate seat.
A large part of the talk focuses on two House members --- Ronald "Doc" Renuart and Travis Hutson --- whose districts overlap Senate District 6, which stretches from Ponte Vedra Beach to Daytona Beach and includes communities such as St. Augustine, Palm Coast and Palatka.
Renuart, a Ponte Vedra Beach Republican and physician, said he intends to run for the Senate seat if it becomes open and pointed to his health-care background.
"As a physician, my knowledge and experiences have me prepared to add my voice to the discussion,'' Renuart said in an email. "Its been about 12 years since a practicing physician has held a seat in the Florida Senate."
Hutson, R-Elkton, was not as committal when reached by phone, but he said he will consider running for the Senate seat if the opportunity arises.
It's clear Tallahassee lobbyists and groups are preparing for a race in the district. St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar said his name was included in a poll that tried to gauge the popularity of possible candidates. Shoar said he has no plans to run for the Senate.
"I'm a cop, really, so I'm not sure that would be the life for me, running back and forth to Tallahassee,'' Shoar said.
The race could have implications outside the district, as Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, wage a battle to become Senate president in 2016. Both are trying to line up support among Senate Republicans, and Thrasher, a savvy insider, has been a key supporter of Negron.