Less than a year after taking office in the Florida House of Representatives, state Rep. Alex Miller is calling it quits.
Miller, a freshman legislator from Sarasota, announced Thursday she would be resigning from the Florida House, citing business and family reasons for her abrupt departure.
“As a mother with two teenage boys who is the CEO of a rapidly growing business, I have come to the conclusion that I must spend more time at home than my service in the Legislature would allow,” Miller wrote in a letter to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes.
Miller’s resignation is effective Sept. 1.
As a lawmaker, Miller served on many committees, including the Careers & Competition Subcommittee, Government Accountability Committee, Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and the Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee.
The Sarasota Republican was seen by many as one of the House’s “rising stars,” but she quickly came under fire from House leadership for supporting its scorched earth approach to eliminating state economic agencies Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida and later switching her position to support the agencies.
Miller’s heel turn on the policy was seen by many as the kiss of death for her legislative priorities, and she was swiftly removed from her spot on two health care committees.
Still, Miller found some successes in the House despite her newbie status and an evident rift between her and leadership.
This year she pushed a proposal to end shark finning, a practice in which fisherman will remove the shark's fins and often throw the fish back in the ocean to die.
The fins are considered a delicacy and are used in soups popular in some Asian cultures.
Fellow Sarasota state Rep. Joe Gruters said he was "very sad" to see Miller leave the House.
"She had an immediate impact and was a great friend and will be missed by many," Gruters said.
Gov. Rick Scott will call a special election to replace Miller in House District 72, which leans Republican.
Miller handily won her election to the House seat last year, taking 58 percent of the vote.
A date for the election has not yet been set.
One person has already announced their intention to run for the seat. Republican James Buchanan, son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, will make a bid for the seat.
Buchanan already had his eyes set on the Florida House, but in state Rep. Jim Boyd’s district in HD 71. With the news of Miller’s resignation, Buchanan quickly shifted tracks and jumped onboard to run in HD 72.
“We have the opportunity in this special election to help keep our state on course to be the nation’s leader in economic growth, education, innovation and so much more,” Buchanan wrote in a statement.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.