Scott loses top adviser, day after staff chief heads toward exitby John Kennedy | June 21st, 2011
A day after his chief-of-staff was nudged toward another state post, Gov. Rick Scott’s top adviser Tuesday also turned in her resignation.
Mary Anne Carter, whose tie to Scott dates to heading his Citizens For Patients Rights, which fought President Obama’s health care overhaul in 2009, said she will leave the administration June 30.
“I appreciate you asking me to serve a while longer in your administration,” Carter wrote in her resignation letter. “I have had a wonderful time and while tempting, I believe it is in my best interest to stay with my original timeline of leaving at the end of this month. I have family obligations that demand my attention and I want to return to my business practice as another election cycle begins.”
Carter is president of MAC Research, Inc., campaign consultants who have been active in national campaigns. Last year, she helped direct Scott’s longshot campaign for governor, which he won helped by $73 million of spending from his own bank account, and stayed on through the transition and the first-time officeholder’s initial, not-quite six-months in office.
Scott on Wednesday will oversee a special meeting of the Florida Cabinet, at which chief-of-staff Mike Prendergast is expected to be named executive director of the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Replacements for Prendergast and Carter have not been named, but the governor could be looking to retool his operation amid voter approval ratings that have plummeted since he took office. Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ chief-of-staff, Steve MacNamara, a state government veteran, appears to be the leading contender to succeed Prendergast.
For his part, Scott called Carter a “tremendous asset” during his early months in office.
“Her tenacity, drive and expertise in policy matters were instrumental in helping us achieve a very successful legislative session. I wish her the best and I’m confident she will continue to do great things,” Scott said Tuesday.
With Prendergast’s looming departure, Scott seems to be at least six-months ahead of schedule for gubernatorial staff reshaping.
Scott’s predecessor, former Gov. Charlie Crist, had chief-of-staff George Lemieux on board for the first year of his term as executive. Before Crist, former Gov. Jeb Bush’s first chief-of-staff, Sally Bradshaw, lasted two years in the high-pressure job before leaving.