|Chief Financial Officer of Florida|
January 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Alex Sink|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 25th district
|Preceded by||Burt Saunders|
|Succeeded by||Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 83rd district
|Preceded by||Sharon J. Merchant|
|Succeeded by||Carl J. Domino|
April 8, 1958 |
St. Louis, Missouri
|Alma mater||University of Florida (B.A.) (M.B.A.)|
Atwater moved to Florida at the age of 4 and grew up in North Palm Beach, Florida, where his father, a veteran World War II pilot and FBI Agent, served as police chief. He went on to gain substantial experience in banking, and was elected to the North Palm Beach Village Council in 1993. Later, he served as chairman, president, and CEO of the Barnett Bank of Broward County and the Treasure Coast, and later as Market President of Riverside National Bank for Palm Beach and Broward counties.
In 2000, Atwater ran for the Florida House of Representatives from the 83rd District, defeating Democratic nominee Pam Dunston and independent Michael I. Danchuk. After just two years in the House, he ran for the Florida Senate from the 25th District, which included Palm Beach and Broward counties. Unopposed in the primary election, Atwater faced off against long-serving Democratic Attorney General of Florida Bob Butterworth in the general election, and, aided by then-Governor Jeb Bush's strong performance that, defeated Butterworth by a solid margin. He was re-elected in 2004 with no opposition and in 2008 against Democratic nominee Linda Bird, a realtor. From 2008 to 2010, he was the President of the Florida Senate.
Following the decision by then-Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to run for Governor rather than seek re-election, Atwater jumped into the race to succeed Sink. In the general election, Atwater faced off against former State Representative Loranne Ausley, whom he defeated in a landslide.
Though Atwater and his proponents assert that his banking background provides him with a unique insight into legislative issues pertaining to banking, insurance, finance and fiscal responsibility, the bank that he was heavily involved in, Riverside National Bank, was taken over by the FDIC and declared a "failed bank."
- "FDIC: Failed Bank Information - Bank Closing Information for Riverside National Bank of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL". Fdic.gov. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
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