Businessman Dave Leavitt, Libertarian candidate for Florida House District 29, announced Monday morning that he will withdraw from the race and join the Republican Party.

“I believe very strongly in the principles of limited government and protecting our liberties,” Leavitt said in a statement. “However, after talking to hundreds of voters and spending 3 months on the campaign trail, I can see the best place to advance those principles is working within the Republican Party, not a third party.

“I wish Representative Scott Plakon the best and plan to support him in this upcoming election cycle,” he added. “I also urge all of my supporters to do the same.”

Plakon currently stands unopposed in the right-leaning Seminole County seat; he welcomed both Leavitt’s return to the Republican Party and his backing.

“Dave’s charitable work in our community is well known and his public policy advocacy has helped to motivate many of our leaders to be more responsive to their constituents,” Plakon said in a statement. “His commitment to limited, more accountable government and more freedom will make him an important voice in our party.

“I welcome him back to the  GOP and appreciate his support.”

The announcement comes during a tumultuous time in the Libertarian Party. Adrian Wyllie, recently announced he was stepping down as party chair amidst allegations over animal sacrifices by a member of the Party running for Senate.

There still is a Libertarian presence in Seminole County.

Next door, in House District 28, candidates Franklin Perez, and Steven Edmonds will be participating in their first debate later this month to make their case for the party’s nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Jason Brodeur.

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