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Alex Sink
Official portrait, 2009
2nd Chief Financial Officer of Florida
In office
January 2, 2007 – January 4, 2011
GovernorCharlie Crist
Preceded byTom Gallagher
Succeeded byJeff Atwater
Personal details
Adelaide Alexander Sink

(1948-06-05) June 5, 1948 (age 75)
Mount Airy, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1987; died 2012)
EducationWake Forest University (BA)

Adelaide Alexander Sink (born June 5, 1948)[1] is an American former politician and financier. A member of the Democratic Party, Sink was the Chief Financial Officer for the state of Florida and treasurer on the board of trustees of the Florida State Board of Administration. She was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida and faced Republican nominee Rick Scott in the 2010 Florida gubernatorial election, losing to Scott by a 1% margin.[2] Sink was also the unsuccessful Democratic nominee in the 2014 special election for Florida's 13th congressional district, losing to Republican David Jolly on March 11, 2014, in a race to fill the vacancy created by the death in 2013 of U.S. Representative Bill Young.[3][4]

Personal life

Sink was born and raised in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the daughter of Adelaide A. (née Bunker) and Kester A. Sink.[5] Her maternal great-grandfather was Chang Bunker, one of the famous conjoined "Siamese Twins", Chang and Eng Bunker.[6][7] She is a graduate of Wake Forest University. After graduating with a degree in mathematics, she taught at girls schools in Sierra Leone and Liberia for three years.[8] In 1992, she was elected to the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees, after which she was awarded the University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993.[9] In 2000, she was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame.[10]

Sink is the widow of Florida attorney and politician Bill McBride who was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida in 2002, making them the only married American couple to both run unsuccessfully in gubernatorial races. They have a son, Bert, and a daughter, Lexi.[11]

Political career

Sink is a former President of Florida Operations at NationsBank, now Bank of America.[12] She was appointed by former Governor Lawton Chiles to the Commission on Government Accountability to the People, and also served on Chiles' Commission on Education. She was vice-chair of Florida TaxWatch.[13] Sink has also served with the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy,[14] the Beth El Farm Workers Ministry,[15] and as Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Hillsborough County and the Suncoast chapters.[16]

Florida Chief Financial Officer

Main article: 2006 Florida Chief Financial Officer election

Sink was the Democratic candidate for Florida's office of Chief Financial Officer in 2006. She defeated Republican Tom Lee 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.[17] She also was the first Democrat elected to the state Cabinet since 1998.[18]

Florida Taj Mahal scandal

Main article: Florida Taj Mahal scandal

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2022)

On August 30, 2010, Sink sent letters to the Florida Supreme Court and Florida Department of Management Services that preliminary findings warranted an audit via her DFS, Bureau of Auditing for excessive spending on the First District Court of Appeal of Florida courthouse, referred to as the "Taj Mahal" by judges around Florida as their districts were facing budget cuts. The CFO's office states that money may have been misused and as much as $16 million may have been spent in a financial raid on the state's Workers' Compensation Trust Fund.[19] A $33.5 million bond for construction was attached to a transportation bill and passed on last day of the 2007 legislative session. There was an ongoing investigation by the CFO's office.

2010 gubernatorial candidate

Main article: 2010 Florida gubernatorial election

Heading into the 2010 cycle, Sink was mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate or for Governor of Florida. In 2008, Sink stated that she would "assess the landscape after the first of the year, and make a decision then."[20] In January 2009, Sink announced she would not run for either seat, preferring to stand for reelection as CFO.[21] The announcement that Gov. Charlie Crist would forgo re-election to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez altered her position, and on May 13, 2009, Sink announced her intention to run for governor.

On August 24, 2010, Sink won the Democratic primary for governor. She faced health care executive Rick Scott in the general election, as well as an independent (NPA) candidate, urban designer and policy analyst, Michael E. Arth.[22][23] A former independent candidate, Bud Chiles, endorsed Sink in September.[24]

On October 25, 2010, during a televised debate, Sink read a text message sent to her makeup artist's cellular phone from a campaign official instructing Sink as to debate strategy, contrary to the rules of the debate. Sink fired the adviser who sent the text message.[25]

After a close election, Sink conceded, giving victory to Scott. He carried 49% of the vote, and she 48%.

2014 campaign for Congress

Main article: 2014 Florida's 13th congressional district special election

Republican Bill Young, who had represented the 13th District and its predecessors since 1971, died on October 18, 2013. On October 30, Sink told the Tampa Bay Times that she would run in the special election to replace him.[4][26] She quickly gained support from national Democratic power brokers. The only other declared Democratic candidate, Jessica Ehrlich, who had faced Young in the 2012 general election, dropped out of the race on November 6, effectively handing the nomination to Sink.[3][27] Sink faced David Jolly, Young's former general counsel, in the March 11 election.

A longtime resident of Thonotosassa in eastern Hillsborough County, Sink told the Times that she would move to Pinellas County as soon as possible. Although members of the House are required only to live in the state they represent, it has become a very strong convention that they live in the district they represent. She signed a one-year lease for an apartment near her campaign headquarters in Clearwater to establish residency in the district, with plans to buy a house in the district later.[26][28]

The 13th and its predecessors had been in Republican hands since William Cramer won the seat in the 1954 election; he was succeeded by Young in 1971. It had been one of the earliest districts in the South to turn Republican. It was widely thought that Sink had a chance of winning; Obama had carried the district twice, and Sink had carried the district in her gubernatorial campaign against Scott. The race was close, with Sink taking 46.6 percent of the vote to Jolly's 48.4 percent.[29]

Political positions

Health care

Sink supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3020) passed by the United States Congress and enacted on March 30, 2010.[30]


Sink believes in the placement of children in a home where it is in the best interests of children regardless of gender preference. She addressed a group of 300 gay and lesbian advocates at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. She said, "We need a system in which all of our children are assured that they live in a healthy, loving home -- a home that's determined not by any law." "The decision has to be made by the judge, in consultation with the experts, to determine what is the best for that individual child."[31]

Ruth's List Florida

In 2008, Sink founded Ruth's List Florida, named in honor of United States Representative Ruth Bryan Owen,[32] the first woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives from Florida and the second to be elected from the American south.[33] The organization aims to elect more Floridian women into public office.[9]

Post-political career

Since her two unsuccessful electoral campaigns, Sink has become involved in mentoring tech startups in the Tampa Bay area.[34] On whether she would run for public office again, she said "I've learned to never say never, but I don't think it will happen."

Alex and Bill Sink worked together to launch the Florida Next Foundation in 2011 - a non-profit, non-partisan policy foundation.[35][16]

In 2017, Sink was elected a Life Trustee of Wake Forest University.[9] In 2018, she was named as a member of Tampa Bay Wave's Board of Directors,[36][9] after having been a past chair, and she is still listed on the 2023 Board of Directors.[37]

In 2020, Sink was named 2020 Citizen of the Year by University of Florida's Bob Graham Center for Public Service, where she was awarded in an online ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[38] As of April 2023, she is serving as a co-chair of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition's Florida Advisory Committee.[39]

Electoral history

Chief Financial Officer of Florida General Election, 2006[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Sink 2,479,861 53.55
Republican Tom Lee 2,151,232 46.45
Total votes 4,631,093 100.0
Florida Gubernatorial Democratic Primary, 2010[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alex Sink 663,800 76.9
Democratic Brian Moore 199,896 23.1
Total votes 863,696 100.0
Florida gubernatorial election, 2010[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Rick Scott 2,619,335 48.87
Democratic Alex Sink 2,557,785 47.72
Independence Party of America Peter Allen 123,831 2.31
Independent C. C. Reed 18,842 0.35
Independent Michael E. Arth 18,644 0.35
Independent Daniel Imperato 13,690 0.26
Independent Farid Khavari 7,487 0.14
Write-ins 121 0.0
Majority 61,550 1.15
Republican gain from Independent
Florida's 13th Congressional District special election, 2014[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Jolly 89,095 48.52
Democratic Alex Sink 85,639 46.64
Libertarian Lucas Overby 8,893 4.84
Total votes 183,627 100.0


  1. ^ "Florida's Most Influential", Florida Trend. November 1, 2004. p. 26 ISSN 0015-4326
  2. ^ "Sink Concedes Florida Governor's Race to Republican Scott". Fox News. November 3, 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
  3. ^ a b Abby Livingston (November 6, 2013). "Democrat Suspends Campaign Against Alex Sink in Florida District". Roll Call.
  4. ^ a b Camia, Catalina (October 30, 2013). "Democrat Alex Sink to run for Young's House seat". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  5. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen (October 15, 2010). "Alex Sink mastered banking, but political ease is a stretch for the bookish candidate". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Smith, Adam C. (September 24, 2010). "Alex Sink says grit and pride were legacy of famous ancestors, Siamese twins Chang and Eng". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  7. ^ Newman, Cathy (June 2006). "Zip USA, Mount Airy, NC 27030: Together Forever". National Geographic. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  8. ^ "Alex Sink is player in her own right". Ocala Star-Banner. Sep 22, 2002.
  9. ^ a b c d "Alex Sink". The Program for Leadership and Character. Wake Forest University. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  10. ^ Snow, Stacey (2001-02-08). "Hall of Fame inductees honored". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  11. ^ "After devastating loss, Alex Sink pauses her political journey". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2023-01-26.
  12. ^ Larrabee, Brandon (2010-10-04). "Alex Sink's business past could be issue in Florida race". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  13. ^ "CFO: Sink". The Ledger. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  14. ^ "Asian American: Former Florida State CFO Alex Sink". Gold Sea Asian American Professionals. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  15. ^ Smith, Adam C. (2005-09-12). "Sink's CFO bid is a wish come true for Democrats". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  16. ^ a b Olson, Linda (2018-03-22). "Tampa Bay Wave Names Alex Sink as Board Chair Elect". Tampa Bay Wave. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  17. ^ "2006 Election Results". Florida Department of State. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Former Charlottean Alex Sink may run for governor -- of Florida". Charlotte Observer. May 11, 2009.
  19. ^ "CFO Alex Sink to Audit Department of Management Services Courthouse Contracts". Florida's Department of Financial Services. August 30, 2010. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  20. ^ "Florida Democrats revel in gained ground". Tampa Bay Times. August 25, 2008. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  21. ^ Cotterell, Bill (January 16, 2009). "Alex Sink won't run for U.S. Senate in 2010". Tallahassee Democrat.
  22. ^ Hatfield, Pat. "DeLand's Urban Cowboy runs for governor: Can a Renaissance man with no money be governor?." Archived 2014-03-12 at the Wayback Machine West Volusia Beacon, July 7, 2009, p. 1A, 12A
  23. ^ Catron, Derek. "DeLand Man Enters Race for Governor," Archived 2010-07-01 at the Wayback Machine Daytona Beach News-Journal, June 15, 2010.
  24. ^ "Independent Bud Chiles Drops Out Of Florida Gubernatorial Race". RTT News. September 2, 2010. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  25. ^ Deslatte, Aaron (October 26, 2010). "Alex Sink fires aide who text-messaged during debate". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  26. ^ a b Adam C. Smith (October 30, 2013). "Alex Sink is running for C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat, will move to Pinellas". Tampa Bay Times.
  27. ^ Blake, Aaron (2013-11-06). "Democratic field clears for Alex Sink in special election". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ Rudie, Preston (2013-11-21). "Alex Sink decides to rent - not buy - in Pinellas County". WTSP. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25.
  29. ^ Newton-Small, Jay (March 11, 2014). "Republican Jolly Wins Special Election in Florida". Time. Archived from the original August 9, 2016.
  30. ^ Alex Sink Waiting For Her GOP Opponent[permanent dead link] CBS 4 South Florida News, Aug 17, 2010. "Of the latest political issues she supports healthcare reform, is against near shore oil drilling, and would like to overhaul Florida's illegal immigration problems"
  31. ^ Reinhard, Beth (November 16, 2009). "Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink backs adoption by gays, lesbians". The Palm Beach Post. Miami Herald. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  32. ^ "About Ruth's List Florida, Inc". Ruth's List Florida. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  33. ^ "A Woman of Firsts: Ruth Bryan Owen - The Knoxville Focus". Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  34. ^ "Alex Sink turned a statewide election defeat into a new career: startup sage". Business Observer. April 20, 2018.
  35. ^ "Florida Next Foundation". Gust. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  36. ^ Olson, Linda (2018-03-22). "Tampa Bay Wave Names Alex Sink as Board Chair Elect". Tampa Bay Wave. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  37. ^ Rhineberger, Lauren (2023-01-26). "Welcome Wave's 2023 Board of Directors & Officers". Tampa Bay Wave. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  38. ^ "Alex Sink Named 2020 Citizen of the Year, G.C. Murray II as 2020 Young Floridian of the Year". University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  39. ^ "USGLC in Florida". USGLC. Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  40. ^ "Chief Financial Officer Election Results". Florida division of elections. November 7, 2006. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  41. ^ "Florida Gubernatorial Primary Results". Politico. August 24, 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  42. ^ "November 2, 2010 General Election". Florida Department of State. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  43. ^ "2014 Florida 13th District Special Election Results". Politico. Retrieved 12 March 2014.

Political offices Preceded byTom Gallagher Chief Financial Officer of Florida 2007–2011 Succeeded byJeff Atwater Party political offices Preceded byJim Davis Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida 2010 Succeeded byCharlie Crist