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Jennifer Sandra Carroll (née Johnson, August 27, 1959) is a Trinidadian-born American politician and retired naval officer who served as the 18th Lieutenant Governor of Florida from January 4, 2011 to March 12, 2013. Carroll is the first black person, woman and Trinidadian-American[1] elected to the office;[2][3] she also is the first black person elected to statewide office in Florida since Reconstruction.[4] Carroll previously served as a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives. She is the bestselling author of an autobiography entitled When You Get There.[5]

Jennifer Carroll
Jennifer Carroll official photo.jpg
Member of the
American Battle Monuments Commission
Assumed office
April 11, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
18th Lieutenant Governor of Florida
In office
January 4, 2011 – March 12, 2013
GovernorRick Scott
Preceded byJeff Kottkamp
Succeeded byCarlos Lopez-Cantera
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
2003–2011
Preceded byMike Hogan
Succeeded byDaniel Davis
Personal details
Born
Jennifer Sandra Johnson

(1959-08-27) August 27, 1959 (age 60)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Nolan Carroll
ChildrenNolan II
Nyckie
Necho
ResidenceFleming Island, Florida, U.S.
Alma materLeeward Community College (AA)
University of New Mexico (BA)
St. Leo University (MBA)
OccupationBusinesswoman
ProfessionNaval officer, politician
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1979–1999
RankU.S. Navy O-4 infobox.svg Lieutenant Commander

Although she was later cleared, Carroll came under scrutiny for public relations work for a charity that involved itself in gambling and for $24,000 in income that she failed to report on financial disclosures and tax returns. At the request of Governor Rick Scott, Carroll resigned her post as lieutenant governor on March 12, 2013. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement subsequently concluded that she had not broken any laws.[6][7]

As a new group of Florida's political leadership takes the reins of the state, black Floridians ‒ including supporters of President Donald Trump ‒ were notable by their presence. Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, the highest-ranking Black female elected official in Florida history thus far, was also invited to the formal inauguration ceremony.[8]

Early life, education, and careerEdit

 
Carroll as a U.S. Navy officer.

Carroll was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States at the age of eight, and graduated from Uniondale High School in Uniondale, Long Island New York in 1977. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1979. After serving as an aviation machinist's mate (jet engine mechanic), she was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program, becoming an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer in 1985. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1999 as a lieutenant commander.

In 1981, she received an Associate of Arts degree from Leeward Community College. She followed this in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Mexico. She moved to Florida in 1986. She received a Master of Business Administration degree from unaccredited and now defunct Kensington University in 1995. Carroll resigned her position on the National Commission of Presidential Scholars to accept a presidential appointment to the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission. She then returned to school to earn an accredited Master of Business Administration degree online from St. Leo University in 2008.[9]

Following the 2000 elections, Carroll was appointed Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs by Republican Governor Jeb Bush and served in that post until July 2002.[10] Republican President George W. Bush appointed Carroll to the Commission on Presidential Scholars from 2001 to 2004,[11] and then a seat on the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission from 2004 to 2007.

Political careerEdit

 
Carroll's official Lt. Governor portrait

Carroll is a member of the Clay County Republican Executive Committee. In 2000, she ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Florida's 3rd congressional district. Incumbent Democrat U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown defeated Carroll 58%–42%.[12] After redistricting, she ran for a rematch against Brown in the newly redrawn 3rd district in 2002. Brown defeated her 59%–41%.[13]

Carroll is one of the founders of Maggie's List, a federal PAC that supports conservative female candidates.[14]

Florida House of RepresentativesEdit

Carroll ran for a seat Florida House of Representatives in the 13th state House district after incumbent State Representative Mike Hogan, also a Republican, resigned in 2003. In the April 2003 special election, she won the Republican primary with 65.5 percent of the vote, defeating Linda Sparks, who won 34.5 percent of the vote.[15] She became the first Black female Republican ever elected to the Florida Legislature. She won unopposed in 2004,[16] 2006,[17] and 2008.[18]

Carroll was appointed Deputy Majority Leader from 2003–2004, and served as Majority Whip in 2004–2006. She was Vice Chair of the Transportation and Economic Development Committee (2003–2004), Chair of the Finance Committee (2006–2008) and Chair of the Economic and Development Council (2008–2010).

Lieutenant Governor of FloridaEdit

On November 2, 2010, the Republican ticket of Rick Scott and Jennifer Carroll defeated the Democratic ticket of Alex Sink and Rod Smith, 48.9%-47.7%.[19] The first black person, the first woman, and the first Trinidadian American[1] elected to the position, she assumed the office on January 4, 2011.[2][3] Carroll was the first black Republican elected to statewide office in Florida since Reconstruction.[4]

Carroll came under scrutiny for public relations work for a charity that involved itself in gambling and for $24,000 in income that she failed to report on financial disclosures and tax returns. At the request of Governor Rick Scott, Carroll resigned her post as lieutenant governor on March 12, 2013. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement subsequently concluded that she did not break any laws.[6][7]

Later political careerEdit

After working on the 2016 presidential campaign on behalf of Donald Trump, Carroll was appointed by President Donald J. Trump as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission.[20] Carroll has served on the Commission since April 2018.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Carroll's husband is Nolan Carroll, a retired senior master sergeant in the United States Air Force. Together, the Carrolls have three children. Carroll's son, Nolan Carroll II, has played football at the collegiate and professional levels.[22][23]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Aaron Deslatte, Amy Pavuk (March 13, 2013). "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns in wake of federal Internet café probe". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Truth-O-Meter Says: Jennifer Carroll is the "first African-American Republican woman to be part of a statewide ticket in Florida."". St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald. politifact.com. Retrieved January 5, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  3. ^ a b Brandon Larrabee (January 4, 2011). "Rick Scott pledges bold action as Florida's 45th governor". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  4. ^ a b The Orlando Sentinel retrieved September 1, 2012
  5. ^ Carroll, Jennifer Sandra. When you get there : an autobiography. Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 9781599324999. OCLC 890179597.
  6. ^ a b George Bennett, Rick Scott, Uncategorized. (June 12, 2015). "Jennifer Carroll still wants an apology from Rick Scott". www.palmbeachpost.com.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b Jim Schoettler (April 30, 2014). "Ex-Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll says she felt 'betrayed' by Florida Gov. Scott". acksonville.com.
  8. ^ FCEditor (January 11, 2019). "TRANSFER OF POWER". Florida Courier. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  9. ^ Khalil Madani (May 1, 2011). "Saint Leo University builds up, plugs in". St. Petersburg Times.
  10. ^ Profile: Jennifer Carroll-WJXT Jacksonville
  11. ^ Matthew I. Pinzur; David DeCamp; Joe Humphrey (May 6, 2001). "Bush Appointment". The Florida Times-Union.
  12. ^ FL District 3 Race, ourcampaigns.com, November 7, 2000; retrieved July 14, 2013.
  13. ^ FL District 3 Race, ourcampaigns.com, November 5, 2002; accessed November 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "Maggie's List. Women's Political Action Committee. Who is Maggie's List?". Maggieslist.org. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  15. ^ April 15, 2003 Special Primary Results - HD 13, doe.dos.state.fl.us, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  16. ^ 2004 election results, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  17. ^ 2006 election results, doe.dos.state.fl.us, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  18. ^ 2008 election results, doe.dos.state.fl.us, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  19. ^ {{https://results.elections.myflorida.com/Index.asp?ElectionDate=11/2/2010&DATAMODE=
  20. ^ Leary, Alex (December 5, 2007). "Trump appoints former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to post". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "New Commissioners Sworn In at ABMC Headquarters | American Battle Monuments Commission". www.abmc.gov. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  22. ^ Neal, David (November 4, 2010). "Taxing questions for Miami Dolphins' rookie Nolan Carroll". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  23. ^ Darlington, Jeff (August 20, 2010). "Miami Dolphins rookie Nolan Carroll becoming something special". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 14, 2010.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Kottkamp
Lieutenant Governor of Florida
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Carlos López-Cantera