Atwater again says no to U.S. Senate race
Chief financial officer Jeff Atwater has again confirmed he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.
Atwater, a Palm Beach County Republican, said in late September that he was again reconsidering running for the Senate, after getting encouragement from friends.
But on Thursday, Atwater first told the Palm Beach Post then confirmed to the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau, that he came to the same conclusion he came to in the spring: he will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
“As I have said before, I am thrilled and honored to be the CFO of Florida,” Atwater said in a statement through his political advisor Brian Hughes. “Despite the gracious words of encouragement from supporters and friends to once again consider a different path, I still believe the best place for me to serve the people of Florida is as their CFO.”
If Atwater had jumped into the race, he would have had the most statewide electoral experience among the candidates already in the crowded GOP field for the U.S. Senate. The field already includes U.S. Reps David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, and Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, as well as Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox. U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson are the leading candidates running for the Democratic nomination.
Early polls have shown voters unfamiliar with any of the GOP candidates running. While Atwater is far from a household name, he has run two statewide campaigns in 2010 and last year’s 2014 re-election.