State CFO race goes ‘very negative’
Acrimony, rather than ideas, has taken the stage in the contest for Florida chief financial officer.
The race between Republican incumbent Jimmy Patronis and former state Sen. Jeremy Ring, a Broward County Democrat, is an undercard to the November battles for Governor and U.S. Senator and has been marked by attacks.
Recently, Patronis also has needed to shift attention to his wife undergoing surgery for breast cancer and to his hometown of Panama City taking a devastating hit from Hurricane Michael.
Often, the Chief Financial Officer job draws less attention than the other Cabinet positions of attorney general and agriculture commissioner. But the job has a wide range of duties, including overseeing the state’s purse strings, serving as the state fire marshal and voting on Cabinet issues.
Ring admits the position is “extraordinarily important but the lowest profile.”
But attention in the campaign has focused on issues that have relatively little to do with the job’s duties and instead has involved such things as Ring’s resume at the internet company Yahoo, Patronis’ crash of a state-issued car while driving to a meeting with a political consultant and Patronis’ ties to Gov. Rick Scott.