The Brevard County Republican’s name first surfaced as a candidate months ago, along with a DeSantis endorsement. But the FAU search took an unusual turn amid allegations of improper procedures and questions that triggered a probe by the inspector general for the state university system.
Fine was not named as a finalist for the job as all this was unwinding. But this week, after Fine flipped his endorsement for president from DeSantis to Trump, the governor suggested to reporters that Fine’s rejection by FAU’s search committee may have contributed to his displeasure. (Fine insisted his endorsement was because DeSantis has not done enough to confront antisemitism in the state.)
Fine, never one to avoid a dustup, responded by saying that, yes, he applied for the FAU job but only after the DeSantis administration asked him to. And even then, he said he was reluctant and waited a month before agreeing to it.
“I’m angry that I stupidly said I would do it,” he said. “I’m not angry it didn’t work out. It dragged out and there was a lot of publicity around it. The governor couldn’t get his own board of trustees to do what he wanted. Good luck with the Mullahs of Iran.”