Gov. Rick Scott has tapped long-time beer lobbyist and Tallahassee insider Ken Detzner to replace retiring Secretary of State Kurt Browning. It’s the second time Scott’s hired a former secretary of state to head the department that oversees elections and cultural affairs. Detzner briefly served as interim secretary of state under former Gov. Jeb Bush as well as chief of staff for former Secretary of State Jim Smith. He also spent six years working for Smith when Smith was the attorney general. Detzner recently helped the attorney general’s office handle claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
Detzner spent 13 years lobbying for the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association and for the past decade has worked as a government consultant and lobbyist. Detzner said he will work with Browning, who will stay on the job to oversee the Jan. 31 GOP presidential primary, until taking over as permanent secretary on Feb. 17.
… Some elections supervisors had hoped to have one of their colleagues take over for Browning, who spent more than three decades as Pasco County elections supervisor but Scott said he is confident that Detzner is up to the job.