First Black and Female Elected as Lieutenant Governor of Florida

Posted on 10 January 2011 by The Florida Star Online

Story by Rinetta M. Fefie 
Photos by Frank M. Powell

It was a historical moment beginning with the  Salute to Women in Leadership Breakfast on  Monday morning, followed with a Tribute to the  First Lady, Honoring Those who Serve, a Path to  Prosperity Reception, Florida’s Future Youth  Concert and the Inaugural Candlelight Dinner. The  two-day event was extremely elaborate but what was  most impressive was the swearing in of Lieutenant  Governor Jennifer Carroll. 

Many in the African American community  admitted it was difficult to hold back the tears as Ms.  Carroll was sworn in. She was joined by her family  as her husband held the Bible that she placed her  hand upon. 

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Carroll’s  story is even more touching since she was adopted by her parents.  She moved to the United States when she was eight years of age,  and after graduating from high school, joined the U. S. Navy. She  was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and  became an Aviation Maintenance Officer in 1985. She retired  from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander and later received an  Associate of Arts Degree, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of  Business Administration. 

Jennifer Carroll is the first Black and the first female elected  as the Lieutenant Governor of Florida. She is also the first African  American female Republican elected to the Florida Legislature.  Actually, she is the first Black female on any statewide  Republican ticket for the state. 

Ms. Carroll is married to Nolan Carroll, Sr. They have three  children, Nolan Carroll, Jr., Nyckie and Necho. Her son, Nolan  Carroll, Jr. plays with the Miami Dolphins. 

Even though many are proud of Ms. Carroll and feel she is a  quiet but strong person, they are still concerned about what lies  ahead for Florida’s minority community under this Republican  administration with strong Tea Party ideas. Governor Rick Scott  ran his campaign on creating jobs for Floridians and during his  inaugural address alluded to how he will do it. Will Ms. Carroll  be given the power to help achieve such a goal? Governor Scott  said, “We have hard-working people who desperately want jobs.  We have energetic entrepreneurs with plenty of ideas.. and persuadable  investors with ready cash.” He ended his speech with,  “Lets get to work.”

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