Florida Rep. Jennifer Carroll, R-Jacksonville, was the first black female Republican elected to the Florida legislature in 2003, and was recently selected by Rick Scott as his running mate in the race for the governor’s office. She also served in the U.S Navy for 20 years before going into politics.
More recently, she worked as chair of an African-American advisory committee for Scott’s Republican primary opponent, Bill McCollum.
According to Anthony Man, political reporter for the Sun-Sentinel,
Political analysts and black activists in both parties are wondering if Meek and Carroll will generate excitement among black voters and whether they’ll stick to their typical Democratic leanings.
[State Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation,] warned the Democratic Party not to minimize [Carroll’s] potential impact. “They do so at their own peril. She is extremely articulate. She is a seasoned legislator. And she is knowledgeable about the issues,” Thurston said. “Her conservative credentials align with the black church in a lot of regards.
In the 2010 legislative session, Carroll sponsored 10 bills — including a House Joint Resolution “proposing the creation of Section 28 of Article I of the State Constitution, to assert the sovereignty of the state and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal mandates,” which died in the Criminal & Civil Justice Policy Council.
She also sponsored a bill for the Black Business Investment Board, Inc. and a bill for a Tax Refund Program for Qualified Target Industry, and co-sponsored 43 bills. She is the current vice-chair of the Florida House Ethics and Elections Committee, serves on the Finance & Tax, Growth Management and Business Regulation Committees and served as Majority Whip from 2004 through 2006.