Holly Benson leaving AHCA, expected to announce AG run next monthby Dara Kam | October 15th, 2009
“I had a meeting with the Governor the other day to talk about some opportunities that lie ahead, and I regret that because of those opportunities I will no longer be able to serve as your Secretary,” Benson wrote in an e-mail to AHCA workers this morning.
Benson, a former state representative from the Panhandle, is expected to jump into the attorney general’s race next month, according to sources close to the Pensacola Republican. That could elevate interest in a GOP primary against Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, who’s already announced his candidacy to replace Bill McCollum. Democratic state Sens. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres and Dan Gelber of Miami Beach are already engaged in a heated battle for the state’s top law enforcement chief.
Crist tapped Benson, a bond lawyer, to head AHCA in 2008. Before that, she left her Pensacola House seat to head DBPR, again at Crist’s bidding.
In the House, Benson was the force behind a model Medicaid reform project that has had mixed results.
Benson sent the following e-mail to AHCA workers this morning.
I love coming to work with you every day. I love walking the halls, hearing your ideas, learning about the great things you’re doing, laughing at your stories. I have watched you put in long hours to keep Floridians safe, to ensure they have access to the care they need, to drive innovation and transparency in our health care system, to keep this Agency running and streamline our operations. . . to work for Better Health Care for all Floridians.
But. . . I had a meeting with the Governor the other day to talk about some opportunities that lie ahead, and I regret that because of those opportunities I will no longer be able to serve as your Secretary. I have submitted my resignation and will be leaving this truly outstanding team in two weeks.
I hope you know what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve beside you. I am in awe of what you do and will sing your praises wherever my path takes me. Thank you for your friendship, and thank you for all you do for the people of this great state.