Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s last day on the job will be June 30.
Atwater announced earlier this year that he would leave the CFO’s position following the regular legislative session to become Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Financial Officer at Florida Atlantic University.
Atwater submitted his resignation letter Monday to the Governor’s Office. It came a little later than what was expected because of last week’s special legislative session to wrap-up budget matters. Atwater had said he intended to stay until the budget was resolved.
“The time is now for me to begin a new chapter in my professional life of service to our beloved Florida,” Atwater wrote to Gov. Rick Scott.
He went on to pledge his support and assistance to the person who is chosen to be Florida’s next CFO.
“I assure you that I and the entire Department of Financial Services staff is prepared to assist our new CFO during this time of transition in order to facilitate the seamless passing of responsibilities and duties to my successor.”
The question now is who will Scott choose to fill the position on the Florida Cabinet?
Some of the names mentioned as possible successors to Atwater include state Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Patronis, State Representative Joe Gruters, and real estate developer and former state senator Pat Neal, among others.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who was considered one of the top candidates for the post, removed his name from consideration last month.
A spokesman for the governor says an announcement as to who will succeed Atwater will come soon.
“The Governor appreciates CFO Atwater’s faithful service to the State of Florida,” said John Tupps, the governor’s communications director. “Our office will have an announcement in the near future.”
Before being elected CFO, Atwater served for a decade in the Florida Legislature. He spent two of those years, 2009 and 2010, as president of the Senate.
He was a little over halfway through his second term when he announced he was leaving state government to take the position at FAU. This would have been his final term under the state’s term limit law.
Whomever Scott chooses, they won’t have long before they will have to start thinking about the upcoming election year if they wish to continue as CFO.
So far only one candidate has filed the necessary paperwork to run for CFO in next year’s election. Democrat Jeremy Ring, a former state legislator and former executive at Yahoo, has registered with the state Division of Elections to run in 2018.