Former U.S. Rep Jeff Miller has added his name to the list of individuals and groups backing House District 3 candidate Joel Rudman.
“I have never sought political office before so I am honored and blessed to have Congressman Miller’s support and even more importantly his knowledge and advice,” the Republican physician said in a statement.
Rudman, who has practiced medicine in Navarre for the last 17 years, entered the race for HD 3 in March after testifying before the Legislature about House Bill 687, Free Speech of Health Care Practitioners. In recent years, he has been a vocal opponent of mask mandates in Florida schools.
“Dr. Joel Rudman has the experience in the community, is a bedrock Republican conservative, and will represent us well,” said Miller, who served in Congress for 15 years. “I am behind Doc Rudman because he has lived and worked in our community for a long time, we know him and trust him.”
Last week, Rudman was endorsed by Florida Realtors, a trade group known to make political donations.
Since entering the race, Rudman has outraised his Republican opponents for four straight months. According to campaign finance records, Rudman raised $19,370 in June, bringing his overall total to $107,649.
Since March, his campaign has spent $61,268, including $30,469 in June. Most of the funds were spent on advertising and signs.
Rudman is running to replace Rep. Jayer Williamson, who is not seeking re-election. His biggest opponent is former legislative aide Mariya Calkins.
Calkins has received endorsements from a number of prominent Florida Republicans like U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and state Reps. Tommy Gregory and Anthony Sabatini.
“Mariya is a Patriot who will bring our Conservative Northwest values to Tallahassee,” Gaetz tweeted in January.
She’s also been endorsed by local elected officials, including Santa Rosa County Commission Chair Bob Cole and Milton City Councilwomen Shannon Rice and Shari Sebastiao.
HD 3 covers parts of Santa Rosa County and Northern Okaloosa County.