by Javier Manjarres
The dynamics in Florida’s Republican U.S.Senate race have been shaken up considerably with the announcement by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater that he’s considering a U.S. Senate bid in 2012. Atwater was part of the “class of 2010″ group of candidates that included U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Rick Scott who were swept into office by the conservatives grassroots movement.
As we’ve reported, the conservative grassroots has been largely sitting idle in the Senate race thus far and has hedged its full throated support for either Congressman Connie Mack or former Senator George LeMieux in the race. But with a potential Atwater candidacy now a very real possibility, Atwater may very well have an opportunity to consolidate a significant amount of that grassroots support behind his campaign and ultimately unify the party.
Atwater’s possible entrance into the race could very well answer the calls from statewide grassroots leaders and activists who have been holding out for a more conservative alternative to emerge in the race.
Jeff Atwater would be a formidable candidate, has solid conservative credentials, and can unify the party, as well as beat Bill Nelson- Nancy McGowan, Marco Rubio for Senate State Finance Chair
He is thoughtful, intelligent, caring and focused, has made all the right moves as CFO, and I would love to see him as my Senator.- Toby Hill, Indian River Tea Party Chairman
Over 3 million Floridians voted for Atwater in his CFO race, making him a solid candidate whose name recognition across the state would be perceived as comparable to that of Congressman Connie Mack’s.
“It’s late. But I share the same deep-seated concern they hold. This is an extraordinary country. It’s an exceptional place on the planet and if we don’t turn it around soon, frankly it will be too late for another generation,” said Atwater. “I think I have a responsibility to sit back (and listen) to these people that I respect greatly and are serious-minded conservatives of this great state to take a hard look at it.”- CFO Jeff Atwater