Days after filing as a candidate, Democrat Nuren Haider said Monday evening she is pulling out of a run for the Florida House District 44 seat up for a special election this summer in Orange County.

The qualifying deadline is Tuesday at noon, and Haider said Monday that she has decided to not qualify.

She is vice chair of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee, and ran last year for the Orange County Commission in a district very similar in location to HD 44, finishing third in a run-off election.

“I will continue to work hard and fight for the constituents in my area and all of Florida to make sure that we focus on education, healthcare, a livable minimum wage, the environment, our safety and much more,” Haider stated in a text to

Her departure leaves the door open to Democrat Paul Chandler, a Lake Buena Vista small business owner, to seek the Democratic nomination without a primary, assuming he qualifies Tuesday morning.

That is provided no one else files Tuesday morning.

Republicans have four candidates who have qualified for an Aug. 15 primary, Kissimmee chamber of commerce chief John Newstreet, businessman Bruno Portigliatti, Winter Garden businessman Bobby Olszewski, and Dr. Usha Jain.

They all seek to succeed Republican former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, who resigned to accept a judicial appointment.


About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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