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First Republican files in strong Democratic HD 8 race

The winner of the four-way Democratic primary to replace term-limited Rep. Alan Williams in House District 8 will now have a Republican to face.

Florida A&M alumnus Marquise McMiller filed for the seat Monday, and he already has his work cut out for him. District 8 is one of the strongest Democratic districts in the state – Williams won the seat in 2012 with no opposition and in 2014 his only competition was a write-in candidate who only snagged 189 votes.

McMiller has some strengths, though it isn’t likely to overcome the R next to his name on the ballot. The 23-year-old has served in the National Guard since 2011 and has an extensive background in student government, winning a seat on the FAMU student senate his freshman year and eventually working as the transportation coordinator for the FAMU student affairs division.

The race is already heating up on the Democratic side, with all four candidates posting decent fundraising numbers. The clear leader is Ramon Jermaine Alexander, who had more than $85,000 on-hand at the end of August. The other campaigns have been picking up steam, though, with Brad Johnson posting back-to-back months of at least $4,000 in contributions.

Dianne Williams-Cox was able to bring in $5,800 in after filing in early August, and Clarence Jackson, who filed Aug. 20, posted $4,000 in contributions in the first 11 days of his campaign.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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