While most of the Inauguration Day hoopla surrounded new Gov. Ron DeSantis, members of his cabinet were also sworn in on Tuesday.
Prior to DeSantis taking his oath, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and returning Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis were sworn in to begin their four-year terms on the state Cabinet.
Moody, a former Hillsborough County judge replaces term-limited Pam Bondi as the state’s top legal officer.
“I’m excited to get to work. I’ve always been excited about the job,” said Moody. “You know that. I am ready to get started. As of now, I am official, so I guess we can go start working.”
The only holdover on the cabinet is CFO Jimmy Patronis, who won a full term after first being appointed to the position by former Governor Rick Scott in 2017.
“With our economy being the 17th biggest in the whole world, we will continue to push forward and make sure that our budget is balanced, that our citizens are taken care of, and that our environment is protected,” Patronis said.
For the first time in eight years, the cabinet once again includes a Democrat. Nikki Fried takes over for Adam Putnam, who lost the GOP gubernatorial primary to DeSantis last August.
“I am going to stand strong on the ideals of the Democratic Party. You know, there are going to be things that obviously we are going to have compromise on,” said Fried. “But, when we don’t, you are going to hear a very loud voice protecting the people of the state.”
Along with Governor DeSantis, the state cabinet oversees a host of state government agencies and sits as the state clemency board. Its first official meeting will take place this Friday at the state Capitol.