Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger formally declined Gov. Rick Scott’s offer Monday to be considered a possible lieutenant governor, becoming the second person on Scott’s four-person short list to turn him down.
As a result, Scott is down to two known candidates for the job, both from Hillsborough County: state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.
Eslinger sent an email to his employees saying he was “flattered and honored” to be considered, but that he will keep the sheriff job that he was first elected to in 1990.
Last week, St. Johns County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Joyner also rejected Scott’s offer. Joyner, the only educator on Scott’s list, said quitting his job to serve as lieutenant governor would “render me ineffective.”
The moves by Eslinger and Joyner suggest neither man knew he was under consideration for the No. 2 post until the Times/Herald first reported the story last week.