BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
The Florida State University Board of Trustees has selected state Sen. John E. Thrasher, 70, an FSU alumnus, to serve as the university’s 15th president.
The senator whose district covers parts of Volusia County as well as St. John’s, Putnam and Flagler counties won over three other candidates in an 11-2 vote on Tuesday.
“I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as Florida State University’s next president,” Thrasher said in a statement. “I look forward to leading the university to even higher levels of excellence. My goal is to advance the faculty and the research, service and teaching mission of this university. I want Florida State to be the best place for students to receive an education, so they can realize their dreams.”
Still a senator
Thrasher is also running for re-election to his District 6 Senate seat. He bested Derek Hankerson in the primary election.
“Fact: My opponent “violates the public trust.” He wants to represent you so bad that he’s in the running for FSU Presidency…make no sense to me either…,” Hankerson relayed on an Aug. 16 Facebook post. “So why waste your vote…?”
If he does not step down until after the November general election, Gov. Rick Scott will call a special election to find a replacement to serve the remainder of his four-year term.
Republican leaders in Thrasher’s district will appoint someone to replace him on the ballot, if he steps down before the election.
“While I am hopeful that the BOG will accept the trustees’ decision, that final decision will not be known until November,” Thrasher continued in the statement. “In the meantime, I intend to continue to campaign for re-election to the Senate and will continue to carry out my commitment to the people of my district.”
FSU has been without a president since Eric Barron stepped down to take the presidency at Penn State University.
Thrasher earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a law degree from FSU.