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Politics

Political Newcomer Challenges Jeff Miller in GOP Primary

July 21, 2013 - 6:00pm

While he has won elections overwhelmingly for the last decade, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has recently drawn his second primary opponent in the 2014 election.

On Friday, political newcomer Kyle Kinser filed his paperwork to challenge Miller in the Republican primary. Kinser, a loss prevention supervisor, talked to Sunshine State News about his challenge to Miller who has represented parts of the Panhandle in Congress since winning a special election in 2001.

A self-described fiscal conservative, Kinser told Sunshine State News he supported reducing federal spending and cutting taxes while keeping the governments promises to veterans and people on Social Security.

Theres a general frustration with our politicians, Kinser insisted, adding Washington has a lack of transparency.

Attacking the incumbent as someone who looks out for the interests of certain departments but not the Panhandle, Kinser attacked Miller for missing too many votes in Congress and taking part in too many overseas trips. Noting he will not be able to outspend Miller, Kinser promises to run a grassroots campaign.

Kinser does not have an open shot at Miller in the Republican primary. John Krause, a private investigator, is also running for the Republican nomination. Back in 2010, Krause ran against Miller in the general election with no party affiliation and took 8 percent of the vote.

Miller also faces a familiar foe over on the Democratic side. Veteran and businessman Jim Bryan has filed to run against him for the third time. In 2008, Bryan took 29 percent of the vote against him. In 2012, Miller won with 70 percent while Bryan finished far behind with 27 percent of the vote.

With more than $90,500 in the bank at the end of June, Miller, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, starts with a financial edge over his rivals. Whoever wins the Republican primary will be in excellent shape to win the general election as 51.6 percent of voters in this district are registered with the GOP while only 30.7 percent are Democrats.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at 904-521-3722..

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