Weekly political notes from The News Service of Florida:
By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Bloomberg Politics amped up speculation Thursday that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will soon leave her job to take a position in the White House.
Which means gossip can also amp up in Tallahassee about Gov. Rick Scott’s appointment of a new attorney general.
Bloomberg first tweeted, and then reported, that aides to President-elect Donald Trump were finalizing details on a post for Bondi in the White House.
“It was not immediately clear what her title would be,” the report said. “Bondi was not among a lengthy list of White House appointments Trump announced on Wednesday.”
A spokesman for Bondi, who was an early backer of Trump’s presidential bid, brushed aside the latest report.
“Attorney General Bondi has absolutely no news to report at this time and is unaware of who the source of this information is,” spokesman Whitney Ray said in an email.
Bondi has previously been rumored as a candidate to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position informally known as the drug czar.
She offered few details about a meeting with Trump last month in New York City other than to repeat that she was happy to be Florida’s attorney general “right now.”
Bondi is term-limited from running again for attorney general in 2018. If she leaves, Scott would be able to appoint a successor to finish out her term.
Among the names that have been tossed around for the job:
— Pete Antonacci, a former general counsel to Scott who was appointed last year as executive director of the South Florida Water Management District.
— Jesse Panuccio, another former counsel to the governor who was named by Scott to head the Department of Economic Opportunity. Panuccio left the department in 2015 with a contentious Senate confirmation hearing in his path and is currently in private practice with Foley & Lardner.
— Tom Grady, a Naples neighbor of Scott who the governor appointed to the State Board of Education. Grady served a single term in the House and a stint as head of the Office of Financial Regulation.
Other names in the rumor mill have included Kent Perez, who serves as Bondi’s general counsel; Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart; and state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami.