TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ New Florida Senate President Don Gaetz has filled several key positions in his leadership team with fellow Republicans.
The appointments announced Monday by the Niceville lawmaker include Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto of Fort Myers as majority leader and Sen. John Thrasher, a former House speaker from St. Augustine, as Rules Committee chairman.
Sen. Joe Negron of Palm City will chair the Appropriations Committee that handles budget matters.
Former Senate President Tom Lee of Brandon will serve as Benacquisto's deputy and majority whip.
Sen. Jack Latvala of St. Petersburg will chair the Ethics and Elections Committee that will have a high profile next year.
Gaetz has made stronger ethics legislation a top priority.
The panel also will look into long lines and delayed vote counts in this year's general election.