George LeMieux Finalist for Florida Atlantic University President

Christopher Earley of Purdue and John Kelly of Clemson are also still in the running

Friday, Jan 10, 2014  |  Updated 11:20 PM EDT
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Then-Florida Sen. George LeMieux is seen at a news conference regarding the Senate's health care reform bill on Capitol Hill on Nov. 21, 2009 in Washington.

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Former Florida Sen. George LeMieux is one of three finalists vying to become the next president of Florida Atlantic University, but Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater didn't make the cut.

A university search committee on Friday picked the trio from a list of 10 semifinalists, which included Atwater.

Also still in the running are Christopher Earley, the dean of Purdue University's management school, and John Kelly, Clemson University's vice president for economic development.

Atwater, whose children attended FAU, announced this past Saturday that he was jumping into the race for the job. If he had been selected, it would have caused a political scramble, since Atwater was expected to easily win re-election this fall.

According to a Facebook post Friday, Atwater now plans to serve as Florida's CFO for years to come.

University trustees are expected to name a president on Jan. 17.

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