That means Hillsborough County Democrats are again now looking at the possibility of allowing House District 57 GOP incumbent Jake Raburn to win re-election without any opposition.
Vatalaro filed at the end of January to run against Raburn in the Hillsborough County seat, but told Florida Politics Wednesday that he was withdrawing, citing a lack of time and money.
“I want to strongly encourage anyone with the desire to run to do so and offer my full personal support so that District 57 get a choice in representation,” Vatalaro wrote in an email.
His decision to step down is a blow to the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, which has not been able to field a candidate to challenge Raburn since he first ran and won the seat against Democrat Bruce Barnett in 2012.
Born in Tampa and raised in Plant City, the 33-year-old Raburn works at Hinton Farms, a midsize strawberry producer. He’s raised $25,020 so far in his bid for a fourth and final term.
HD 57 encompasses FishHawk Ranch, Sun City Center, Wimauma and parts of Bloomingdale and Riverview in southeast Hillsborough.