Florida state Senator Latvala files to run for governor

State Senator Jack Latvala, Rep.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida state Sen. Jack Latvala is running for governor, becoming the second viable Republican to enter the race to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Latvala filed his paperwork to run Friday, though he doesn’t plan to formally announce his candidacy until Wednesday.

He has been a powerful senator during two stints in the Legislature, the first from 1994 to 2002. He left office due to term limits and returned in 2010.

He was the Senate’s budget chief during the last legislative session. He previously helped tighten ethics laws concerning public officials and ushered through a campaign finance bill that requires more disclosures from candidates.

Latvala is challenging Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for the Republican nomination. Scott has to leave office in January 2019 because of term limits.

Latvala didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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