A new internet ad being released by the campaign of Republican state Rep. Mike Miller blasts a primary opponent in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, charging that Scott Sturgill had falsely claimed to be a lifelong Republican.
The new ad, “Democrat,” charges that Sturgill first registered to vote, in 1998, as a Democrat, and did not change his party affiliation to Republican until 2008.
Sturgill, of Sanford, and Miller, of Winter Park, are in a battle for the August 28 Republican primary for a chance to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy in CD 7, covering Seminole County and north-central Orange County. There also are a couple other Republicans and another Democrat in the fields.
In the new digital ad, and a press release, Miller’s campaign focuses on an interview Sturgill gave to the Orlando Sentinel editorial board in 2014, when he faced state Rep. Bob Cortes in a primary battle for the Florida House District 30 seat, which Cortes won. In the interview, archived on YouTube, Sturgill states, “I’m a lifelong Seminole County resident; I’m a lifelong Republican.”
Miller’s ad contends that voter registration records do not back that up. And the ad states that while Miller was supporting Republicans, Sturgill was voting for Democrats, and it concludes with a plea for Republican primary voters to “stop Sturgill.”
Sturgill campaign spokesman Ross Hackney replied by noting many Republicans were once Democrats, by denying that Sturgill had actually voted for Democrats, and by charging the Miller campaign with trying to redirect.
The response did not address Sturgill’s 2014 statement that he had been a lifelong Republican.
“If left to Mike Miller some of our greatest leaders would not have been welcomed into our party such as President Ronald Reagan, Governor Rick Perry, and President Donald Trump,” Hackney noted.
“Mike Miller is trying to change the conversation from his campaign’s shortfall of enthusiasm and lackluster fundraising with another misleading video,” Hackney continued. “To say Scott voted for Democrats is simply false, while we can say that Mike has indeed voted with Democrats while serving in the state legislature on issues like supporting Planned Parenthood and his record is there to prove it.”
Miller’s campaign spokeswoman Dana Loncar stated, “It is disgraceful that Scott Sturgill makes false statements to deceive Republican voters into believing he is a lifelong Republican. It’s clear Scott Sturgill will say or do anything in a shameful attempt to get elected to public office.”