Florida’s first black lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll is lashing out at her former boss in a new 174-page book.
In the paperback, When You Get There: An Autobiography, due out any time now and available at Amazon, she says Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was not interested in reaching out to black voters during the 2010 campaign. She describes Scott’s aides as a “boys’ club” that treated her with disrespect and sought to keep her from promoting the ticket in black communities.
Various media reports published in advance of the book say Carroll complains that the aides sidelined her and that Scott treated her as “an unwanted stepchild.”
Carroll, who has ties by marriage with Miami’s Liberty City, is a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, businesswoman and state lawmaker.
She was forced to resign last year after investigators questioned her about her former work as a consultant to a company involved in an Internet gambling scandal. She was never charged but, she says, Scott’s aides “ambushed” her with a prepared letter of resignation she was forced to sign.
Carrol says Scott promised her a leadership role when he asked her to join the gubernatorial race but that never materialized. She was told she had to speak to Scott’s scheduler when she wanted to speak to the governor, she writes.
There have been suggestions that Scott picked the Trinidad-born Carroll as an effort to siphon off at least some votes from Florida’s black communities, which are traditionally staunchly Democratic.
She writes that she and political consultant Clarence McKee developed a plan to woo black voters and that she defied the Scott campaign chiefs when she attended a forum hosted by Bishop Victor Curry of New Birth Cathedral of Faith International.
“The campaign didn’t want it but I did it anyway,” Carroll writes.
Carroll says that “minority stealth” outreach helped Scott garner six percent of the black vote and win the race.
Scott is seeking re-election and will face former Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist in voting during November’s general election. Crist defeated former state lawmaker Nan Rich in Tuesday’s primaries.
News reports say Scott’s office has responded to reports about the book with a short statement: “Jennifer Carroll made the right decision for her family by resigning. We appreciate her service to the state.”