Jennifer Carroll

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For the American chef, see Jennifer Carroll (chef). For the Canadian swimmer, see Jennifer Carroll (swimmer).
Jennifer Carroll
Carroll, Jennifer.jpg
18th Lieutenant Governor of Florida
In office
January 4, 2011 – March 12, 2013
Governor Rick Scott
Preceded by Jeff Kottkamp
Succeeded by Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 13th district
In office
Preceded by Mike Hogan
Succeeded by Daniel Davis
Personal details
Born Jennifer Sandra Johnson
(1959-08-27) August 27, 1959 (age 54)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nolan Carroll
Children Nolan II
Residence Fleming Island, Florida
Alma mater Leeward Community College (A.A.)
University of New Mexico (A.B.)
Kensington University (M.B.A.)
St. Leo University (M.B.A.)
Profession Former Navy officer
Religion Christian
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1979–1999
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Lieutenant Commander

Jennifer Sandra Carroll (née Johnson; born August 27, 1959) is a Trinidadian-born American politician who was the 18th Lieutenant Governor of the U.S. state of Florida. The first black American and the first woman elected to the position, she assumed the office on January 4, 2011.[1][2] She was the first black person elected lieutenant governor of Florida,[3] and the first black person elected to statewide office in Florida since Reconstruction.[4] Carroll previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2003 until 2010.

The New York Times reported that Carroll's tenure as lieutenant governor was "marred by scandal and poor judgment" and she was "increasingly viewed as an embarrassment to the man who chose her for the job."[5] She resigned her post as lieutenant governor on March 12, 2013, following allegations that she was involved in an effort to steer money into Internet cafés that are fronts for gambling, the subject of federal and state criminal investigations.[6][7]

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

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, New York in 1977. Carroll 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 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 after a CBS investigation raised questions about her degree.[8][9] She then returned to school to earn an accredited Master of Business Administration degree online from St. Leo University in 2008.[10]

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%.[11] After redistricting, she ran for a rematch against Brown in the newly redrawn 3rd district in 2002. Brown defeated her 59%–41%.[12] In both elections, Carroll ran more strongly than Republicans usually poll in the area.

Following her defeat in the 2000 election, she was appointed as Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs by Republican Governor Jeb Bush and served in that post until July 2002.[13] Republican President George W. Bush appointed Carroll to the Commission on Presidential Scholars from 2001 to 2004,[8][14] and then a seat on the Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission from 2004 to 2007.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]


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 African-American female Republican ever elected to the Florida Legislature. She won unopposed in 2004,[16] 2006,[17] and 2008.[18]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caroll 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).

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

On September 2, 2010, Republican primary winner Rick Scott named Carroll his running mate in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial election, after Toni Jennings and Susan Story declined the job.[19][20] He said that she is the "embodiment of the American Dream" and that their ticket is a "clear choice between conservatives with business experience and a plan to create 700,000 jobs and liberal Obamacrats who want to bring the failed Obama agenda to Florida."[21] Carroll thus became the first black woman to be a major party candidate for lieutenant governor in the general election in Florida's history, and the first black woman on any statewide Republican ticket.[1] Scott and Carroll won the election, and assumed office on January 4, 2011.[2] She is the first woman elected[22] and the second woman to hold the position of lieutenant governor, following Toni Jennings who was appointed in 2003 to finish the term of Frank Brogan.[1]

Controversies and resignation[edit]

A 2011 story in the Florida Times-Union reported that Carroll's Clay County business 3N & JC used falsified documents in a Jacksonville grant program to meet the requirement that her minority-owned firm was located in Jacksonville.[23][3]

In July 2012, a fired former staffer of the Lieutenant Governor's office, Carletha Cole, included allegations of "sex, lies and illegal audio taping" against Carroll as part of Cole's defense in a criminal case.[24][25][26] Cole attempted to have Carroll impeached,[24] and both sides waged a public relations battle, alternately characterizing Cole as "an innocent whistleblower under attack or as a disgruntled former employee carrying out a vicious vendetta."[24]

On March 12, 2013 Carroll resigned from office over a federal gambling racketeering case in which she has been questioned about the previous day by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Carroll once owned public relations firm, 3N & JC that represented another organization, "Allied Veterans," and she did work for the company at the same time she served in the Florida House. "Allied Veterans" and associates of the organization are under investigation. Chief of staff for Governor Rick Scott, Adam Hollingsworth, told the press that: "Lt. Gov. Carroll resigned in an effort to keep her former affiliations with the company from distracting from the administration’s important work on behalf of Florida families. She made the right decision for the state and her family."[23][27]

On May 5, 2014 Carroll said that Rick Scott ran the Florida Governors office in a "good ol' boy system" that was difficult for minorities and she was forced out by Scott with no reason given. Carroll has said she wants Scott to apologize for forcing her to resign and plans to write a tell-all book about her experience. [28]

Personal life[edit]

Carroll is married to Nolan Carroll and has three children. Her son, Nolan Carroll II, played college football for the University of Maryland, and is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.



  1. ^ a b c "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. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b Aaron Deslatte, Amy Pavuk (March 13, 2013). "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns in wake of federal Internet café probe". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  4. ^ The Orlando Sentinel retrieved 2012-09-01
  5. ^ Christine Jordan Sexton and Lizette Alvarez, Florida's Lieutenant Governor Resigns Amid Inquiry Into Sweepstakes Firm (March 14), New York Times.
  6. ^ Tia Mitchell, Mary Ellen Klas (March 13, 2013). "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns amid state, federal probe of non-profit veterans group". 
  7. ^ Rachel Weiner (March 13, 2013). "Florida Lt. Gov. resigns amid racketeering probe". 
  8. ^ a b Gonzales, Vince (May 10, 2004). "Top Officials Hold Fake Degrees". CBS Evening News. 
  9. ^ Stephen Majors (May 12, 2004). "Lawmaker to check her degree's status". The Florida Times-Union. 
  10. ^ Khalil Madani (May 1, 2011). "Saint Leo University builds up, plugs in". St. Petersburg Times. 
  11. ^ FL District 3 Race - Nov 07, 2000. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  12. ^ FL District 3 Race - Nov 05, 2002. Our Campaigns. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  13. ^ Profile: Jennifer Carroll-WJXT Jacksonville
  14. ^ Matthew I. Pinzur, David DeCamp and Joe Humphrey (May 6, 2001). "Bush Appointment". The Florida Times-Union. 
  15. ^ April 15, 2003 Special Primary Results - HD 13, 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, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  18. ^ 2008 election results, Election Results Archive, Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.
  19. ^ Aaron Deslatte (September 3, 2010). "Rick Scott picks Jennifer Carroll as running mate". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  20. ^ Bender, Michael C. (December 12, 2011). "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll looking for a bigger role next year". Tampa Bay Times. 
  21. ^ Headlines. (2010-09-02). Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  22. ^ Kaufman, Michelle (November 10, 2010). "The bonds of politics, sports and family: Lt.-Gov.-elect Jennifer Carroll and the Dolphins' Nolan Carroll". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b Dixon, Matt (March 13, 2013). "Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns after being questioned about Allied Veterans". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c Toluse Olorunnipa (July 12, 2012). "Is Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's former aide seeking vengeance or justice?". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  25. ^ Yamiche Alcindor (July 14, 2012). "Florida lieutenant governor accused of misconduct". USA Today. 
  26. ^ Kristen A. Lee (July 13, 2012). "Fla. Lt. Gov. accused in sex scandal". New York Daily News. 
  27. ^ Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Resigns
  28. ^
  29. ^ Neal, David (November 4, 2010). "Taxing questions for Miami Dolphins' rookie Nolan Carroll". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 14, 2010. 
  30. ^ Darlington, Jeff (August 20, 2010). "Miami Dolphins rookie Nolan Carroll becoming something special". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 14, 2010. 

External links[edit]

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