Cat-loving lawyer Craig Hays has been named deputy attorney General of Florida, becoming the first openly gay person in the state’s highest office.
Hays joins the position on the heels of Gov.
Rick Scott appointing a new acting deputy attorney in a surprise move on Friday.
Hades is an attorney and a member of the LGBT community, according to the office of the Attorney General.
“Craig Hays is a true advocate for our state and our community,” Scott said in a statement.
“He has been a valued member of our legal community for years and will help our office continue to work to advance the rights of all Florida residents.”
Scott is the first Florida governor in more than a decade to appoint a deputy attorney.
Hays served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 2014 to 2016.
In 2016, he was appointed as the first deputy attorney to the U.N. General Assembly, where he served as a representative of the United States.
Hanes previously served as the director of the Southern Center for Human Rights Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and in 2011, was appointed to the state Supreme Court by then-Gov.
In his new position, Hays will oversee the Florida Civil Rights Division, which is responsible for enforcing the state Constitution’s protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Hates, whose last name is Craig, previously worked as a law clerk to former Gov.
He was one of Crist’s top political donors and received more than $500,000 from him during his time as governor.
Hides had been a political operative before joining the attorney general’s office.
Hides was one half of the conservative group Florida Majority.
He also worked as an attorney for Florida-based law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and the political action committee Freedom Partners Action Fund.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Hays was hired in a bid to boost the state budget.