Sanford businessman and Seminole County community leader Scott Sturgill is entering the Republican Primary for the surprise open seat in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.
Sturgill was a Republican candidate in 2018 for that seat, but he lost the Republican Primary Election to Rep. Mike Miller, who then lost the General Election to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy.
That was Murphy’s second of three elections in CD 7, the purple district representing Seminole County and parts of Orange County. For the 2022 election, she had drawn a myriad of hard-line Republican political newcomers and newcomers to the district.
Then Murphy surprised all by announcing in late December she would not seek a fourth term after all. Many Republicans suggested she was leaving because redistricting would make CD 7 difficult for her to win again. Yet the developing proposed maps in the Florida Legislature suggest the district will be mostly unchanged.
Enter Sturgill, born and raised in Seminole County and a longtime figure in Seminole County Republican politics and in Central Florida civics. He built his family business, Durable Safety Products, which provides safety gear and personal protective equipment in 48 states to front-line workers including first responders, construction workers and school crossing guards.
He is starting with the campaign theme “Adult in the Room,” vowing to cut bureaucratic red tape, promote economic growth, secure the borders, and protect Florida schools from what he dubs the federal government’s radical, liberal agenda.
Those promises are similar to those made by other Republicans already in the field, including conservative talk-show favorite Cory Mills, ostracized state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Brady Duke, Erika Benfield, Jeremy Liggett, Joe Cavagna and Tuan Le.
Several of those candidates have earned impressive head starts, financially. Mills, Sabatini and Duke have each already raised more than a half-million dollars for their campaigns through the third quarter of 2021.
There are not yet any Democratic candidates announced in CD 7 since Murphy withdrew.
Sturgill is a member of the Seminole State College District Board of Trustees and the Seminole County Industrial Development Authority. He is a former chair of the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce and the AdventHealth Altamonte Springs board.
He is launching his campaign with an introductory video, “Adult in the Room,” which takes aim at what his campaign characterizes as “the failures of extreme Democrats in Congress.”
The 90-second spot is a combination of a humorous send-up of President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, portrayed by children, and of a no-nonsense looking Sturgill declaring, “Playtime is over.”
“I’ve protected American lives, and now I’m running for Congress to defend American values,” Sturgill says in the ad. I won’t sit on the sidelines while the left turns the country that I love into their playground.”