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Freshman Rep. Miller announces Sept. 1 resignation; special election planned

Buchanan says he'll run in special election to fill seat.

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  • | 10:30 a.m. August 24, 2017
  • Sarasota
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Alex Miller, a freshman member of the Florida House elected in 2016 to serve a large portion of Sarasota County, announced her resignation today in a letter to House Speaker Richard Cocoran.

Miller cites commitments as the CEO of a growing business and two teenage sons as the reason for her resignation.

“I have come to the conclusion that I must spend more time at home than my service to the Legislature would allow,” she wrote.

Her resignation is effective Sept. 1. A special election will be called to fill her District 72 seat, which includes a portion of Manatee County and a wide swath of Sarasota County, including Siesta Key.

Not long after Miller made her announcement, James Buchanan announced he planned to run for the seat after announcing earlier this year his intention to run in District 71, which includes much of Bradenton, the barrier island communities from Anna Maria through Lido Key and a narrow portion of Sarasota along the bayfront. Buchanan is the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and is the founder of James Buchanan Realty on Longboat Key. 

In a statement, Buchanan said: "This is a tremendous opportunity to serve. For me, it has and always will be about service. We have the opportunity in this special election to help keep our state on course to be the nation's leader in economic growth, education, innovation and so much more. I'm ready to get to work for Sarasota and all of Florida.''

No date has been set for the special election.

Earlier this month, Miller said in a Facebook post that she would consider introducing legislation to clear up what she called "vague" laws connected to animal cruelty after video surfaced, depicting possible animal cruelty against a shark and its alleged connections to the TV show "Siesta Key."

"It is unfortunate that it takes events like this to bring to light other cruel animal abuses that occur on our waters," the post said. "If current law ... does not find this to be a prosecutable crime I will present a bill this session that brings more clarity." 

Miller, a 44-year-old Republican, was elected to her first term in Tallahassee in November, defeating Edward James III by 16 percentage points.

She is the CEO of Mercedes Medical, a medical supply company with headquarters near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Recently, she announced her company was moving to Lakewood Ranch. The $10 million facility is expected to be finished by late 2018.

Miller was assigned to the Careers and Competition Subcommittee; the Government Accountability Committee; the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee; the Local, Federal and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and the Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee.



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