Democrat Justin Miller has dropped out of the contest for Senate District 9, citing difficulty in raising money against a formidable Republican candidate who has demonstrated little trouble raising significant amounts of campaign cash.
Miller, a non-profit executive from Oviedo who is a Navy veteran and former defense intelligence specialist, cited Republican former state Rep. Jason Brodeuer‘s fundraising prowess, and said he and his team were just not raising money at a rate to effectively compete.
He also suggested there may be other Democrats better prepared to take on Brodeur, president of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce and a former three-term member of the Florida House from Sanford.
“We also know there are other folks who might get in and we didn’t want to be a distraction,” Miller said.
Miller had managed to raise $4,441 and lent his campaign another $2,216, in a little less than a year on the trail.
His departure leaves Democrat Rick Ashby, an engineer from Oviedo, who is running on a more progressive platform to challenge Brodeur. Ashby has raised less money than Miller.
Brodeur, meanwhile, has more than $550,000 in the bank in his two funds, his official campaign and his Friends of Jason Brodeur political committee. For the most part, he’s been able to raise $100,000 a month.
The district seat is opening up because Republican state Sen. David Simmons is leaving in 2020 due to term limits. SD 9 covers Seminole County and southwestern Volusia County.