Al Ater was elected to the La.House of Representatives in 1984 and served in that capacity until he chose not to run for reelection in 1992. In 2001, he joined the Department of State as First AssistantSecretary of State. Mr. Ater joined the Department of Insurance in July 2004 as Chief Deputy Commissioner and in March 2005 he returned to the Department of State as First Assistant Secretary of State. Mr. Ater became the La. Secretary of State in July of 2005.