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Who is Carlos Lopez-Cantera the new Lieutenant Governor of Florida?

Governor Rick Scott with Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Photo courtesy of The Shark Tank.

Many Floridians are scratching their heads about Governor Rick Scott’s selection of Carlos Lopez-Cantera as his running mate. Some see this as a pure political move to pander to Hispanics. Others are just wondering who is Lopez-Cantera, the now former Property Appraiser for Miami-Dade County turned Lieutenant Governor of the sunshine state.

Governor Scott released this biography of Lieutenant Governor Lopez-Cantera:

Carlos Lopez-Cantera was born in Madrid, Spain on December 29, 1973. He was born two months premature and was returned to his intended birthplace of Miami, Florida once he was healthy enough to travel. Lopez-Cantera graduated from Miami-Dade College and continued his studies at the University of Miami, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration.

In August 2012, the citizens of Miami-Dade County elected Carlos Lopez-Cantera as the Property Appraiser of Miami-Dade County. Carlos campaigned on a platform to make interaction with the office of the property appraiser easier, increasing community outreach and being more responsive to the needs of the residents of Miami-Dade.

From 2004 through 2012, Carlos served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Over the course of his 8-year term in the Legislature, Carlos served as a member of the Governor’s Property Tax Reform Committee, the My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council and the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force. In the Florida House of Representatives, he chaired the Committee on Business Regulation and the Government Affairs Committee. Carlos served as Majority Whip from 2009 through 2010 and as the Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives during the final two years of his term from 2010 through 2012.

Carlos has been married to his wife Renee since 2005 and they have two young daughters.

Marc Caputo from the Miami Herald found something interesting when researching Lopez-Cantera. Caputo reports, “It’s easy to find home- and land-owner information on the website of Miami-Dade’s Property Appraiser, with a notable exception: the house where the county’s elected property appraiser lives. Details about Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s home value and taxes are simply impossible to find with his website’s search engine. That makes him an exception in South Florida… The Miami Herald accidentally discovered the issue Monday while researching Lopez-Cantera amid word that Gov. Rick Scott plans to tap him Tuesday to fill the long-vacant post of lieutenant governor.”

“Even though Lopez-Cantera’s home information is nearly impossible to find, it doesn’t mean that he broke public-records laws, Parrish said, because the property appraiser’s website is offered as a courtesy to the public, not as a right mandated by Florida statute,” notes Caputo.

Caputo states in a Tampa Bay Tribune column, “Lopez-Cantera served under Rubio in the state House and served as majority leader through 2012, after which term limits forced him from office. He then ran for and won the relatively new elected position of Miami-Dade property appraiser… Lopez-Cantera has shown he can win in the county, is well-liked by conservatives throughout the state from his time leading the GOP in the state House, has helped lower property-tax values — thereby helping cut taxes —and has a scandal-free reputation in a county known for scandal.”

Lieutenant Governor Lopez-Cantera is the first American of  Hispanic descent to hold that office.

As this year progresses there will be more information coming to light about Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Stay tuned.