(Treasure Coast Newspapers (Stuart, FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 03--Sen. Thad Altman stands to be re-elected after his only opponent in the Nov. 4 election said he will drop out of the race.
Write-in candidate Lloyd Stanton French said he sent a letter Tuesday to the Florida Division of Elections requesting his candidacy be withdrawn but as of Wednesday afternoon the department had not received the request, spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said.
French said he wants to drop out because of the negative campaigning in the Republican primary.
Altman, of Rockledge, faced Monique Miller, a former account executive in the computer industry from Melbourne who released fliers attacking him over his past support of high-speed rail in Central Florida in light of his current opposition to All Aboard Florida trains.
Space Coast Liberty Caucus, a Cocoa Beach-based PAC, also sent out mailers against Miller, claiming she is "saying anything to get elected."
"I am disillusioned by the 'juggernauting,' the intense fundraising for a such a low-paying position and certainly disillusioned by the negative campaigning," said French, a registered Democrat. "I'm not going to subject my family to that type of treatment."
Altman, who's raised $320,000 to Miller's $10,000, has been in the Legislature for 11 years and represents the northwestern part of Indian River and parts of Brevard counties. If re-elected, he will be sworn in Nov. 18 for a four-year term, after which he will reach his term limit. French didn't raise any money, records show.
Altman said he wishes French had withdrawn his candidacy before the primary because that would have allowed Democratic and independent voters to participate in it. Write-in candidates normally close primaries because voters not registered with a party cannot vote in its primary if a candidate from another party files to run.
"What's happened is that a lot of voters have been disfranchised," Altman said. "I would have preferred to have the opportunity to get my message out to all voters in the district."
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