Craig Miller, an Air Force veteran who helped build several restaurant chains, has entered the crowded Republican primary in the 24th district.
He’s vying for the chance to run against freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D).
Miller was a target long before he made his candidacy official: He’s been in the opposition’s bull’s-eye since early February.
Democratic strategists have tried to dent Miller’s business credentials by pointing out that was fired from his job as CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and received a multimillion-dollar severance package while others lost their jobs.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also distributed a release criticizing Miller for not being tough enough on drunken driving in comments he made in a restaurant trade magazine in 2001.
The Republican field in that district is still forming — as of now Miller has nearly a dozen primary opponents — but his top rivals are shaping up to be state Rep. Sandy Adams and businesswoman and Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel.