St. Johns superintendent tells Gov. Scott no thanks

Joseph Joyner asks for his name to be taken off lieutenant governor short list

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - St. Johns County School Superintendent Joseph Joyner -- one of four public officials under consideration to be Gov. Rick Scott's next lieutenant governor -- has withdrawn his name from consideration.

Joyner, the only educator on Scott's list first reported by the Tampa Bay Times , said that quitting his job to serve as lieutenant governor would "render me ineffective."

In a memo to his staff, he said Scott was "extremely gracious" in accepting his decision. He's one of four people that were reported were being considered to replace Jennifer Carroll. The others are Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman and Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger.

Part of the text of Joyner's letter:

"Dear Colleagues, I wanted to communicate with you first regarding the lieutenant governor position. Please feel free to share with your staff.

"The priorities in my life are now, and always have been, faith, family and personal/professional -- in that order. Although my selfish nature often belies these priorities, I strive to adhere to this value system. To that end, the life and work decisions I make are not simply personal desire, they are deeply spiritual in nature. My family is incredibly important to me. I enjoy being there for them and spending time with them ...

"I believe very strongly that I made a promise to the St. Johns County School District several years ago while the School Board made a commitment to me in the form of a long-term contract. While it may sound corny or old fashioned, that promise is in the form of a contract that I signed and intend to honor. I spoke to Gov. Scott earlier today and asked to be removed from consideration for lieutenant governor. I have found Gov. Scott to be a sincere man of his word, one who understands the importance of commitment and demonstrates this throughout Florida. He was extremely gracious.

"While I am humbled and honored to have been considered, this decision would reverse the priorities in my life and ultimately render me ineffective ... I appreciate your belief and trust in me and I look forward to many more years together. Sincerely, Joe"

Florida has been without a lieutenant governor since March, when Jennifer Carroll abruptly resigned after she was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement during their investigation of Allied Veterans of the World. Prosecutors say the chain of internet cafes that prosecutors say was an illegal gambling operation masquerading at a veterans charity.

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