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Politics

Rick Scott and Will Weatherford Move Quickly After Steve Precourt Resigns

January 9, 2014 - 6:00pm

On Friday, leaders in Tallahassee reacted to Steve Precourt resigning his seat in the Florida House to take over as executive director of the Orlando Orange County Express Authority (OOCEA), calling for a special election to replace him and naming a new chairman of the State and Local Affairs Committee.

After being chosen earlier in the week for the position, Precourt, who represented parts of Orange County, announced on Thursday he would accept OOCEAs offer.

Today, I submitted my resignation as a member of the Florida House of Representatives to Speaker Will Weatherford, Precourt said on Thursday. Serving in the Florida Legislature has been a great experience, and I am grateful to have worked alongside such esteemed men and women. Working to establish fiscally conservative policies, reinforcing limited government, protecting the unborn, and standing for religious freedom were some of my proudest moments. Representing the constituents of Central Florida in Tallahassee has truly been an honor and I look forward to continuing my service in another capacity.

As I work toward an agreement with the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, I commit to maintaining their good reputation, Precourt added. I vow to work hard to uphold the highest standards when serving their customers, the public, the stakeholders and all the many constituents."

Precourt was facing term limits in November and three candidates -- Republican former Rep. Eric Eisnaugle and Democrats Lee Douglas and Shaun Raja -- were already running for the seat. Eisnaugle announced earlier in the week he intended to run for the heavilly Republican seat if a special election was going to be held.

With Precourt officially resigning his seat, Gov. Rick Scott called a special election to fill the seat on Friday. The primaries will be held on March 11 while the general election will be held on April 8.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, also moved quickly on Friday, naming Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, to replace Precourt as chairman of the State Affairs Committee.

I am honored and humbled to be asked by our Speaker Will Weatherford to chair State Affairs, Boyd announced on Friday. Looking forward to continuing our work.

Boyd, who is serving his second term, previously led the Ethics and Elections, and Government Operations subcommittees.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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