Andy Gardiner names Garrett Richter Senate President Pro Tempore

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Florida Senate President-Designate Andy Gardiner named Garrett Richter as President Pro Tempore for the 2014-16 legislative term.

Gardiner chose the Naples Republican for his ability to “relate to people from all walks of life” and build consensus “without compromising principle.”

“As a veteran of the Vietnam War, a business owner and a family man who worked his way from a bank janitor to a bank president, Garrett brings a range of personal and professional experiences to the Senate,” Gardiner said in a statement issued Thursday. “He has a contagious energy and a strong work ethic that will be a valuable asset as we work to build our policy agenda.”

After serving in the Florida House from 2006-2008, Richter was first elected to the Senate in 2008 and became President Pro Tempore during the 2012-2014 legislative term. He currently represents Senate District 23, covering parts of Lee and Collier Counties.

Outside of politics, Richter, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, was founder and chief executive officer of two sizable regional banks. He also served in United States Army from 1969-1971, earning a Bronze Star in the Vietnam War.

The Senate will formally approve Richter’s nomination during the Nov. 18 Organization Session.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.