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Elections 2016

Local Senate Candidate Miller: There's a 'Witch Hunt' For Confederate Symbols

A North Florida state Senate candidate is pushing back against what she calls a “witch hunt” for all things confederate. In the wake of last year’s racially targeted killings of parishioners at black church in South Carolina, several states and local municipalities worked to bring down confederate emblems.

In Florida, the state legislature took down a statue of a confederate general in Congress’ statuary hall. The Florida Senate elected to remove a confederate flag from its seal. For many, such emblems are painful reminders of America’s slave-based economy while others see them as a symbol of sacrifices made by their ancestors. And the latter is the reason Nancy Miller says she decided to run for state Senate.

“When the flag came down tragically, heartbreakingly in South Carolina--and I call it a witch hunt on all things Confederate. And where’s the witch? Witch. Witch. Witch. And if you were a confederate, you were indicted. And so everything had to come down," Miller said during an interview with radio host Rocky D posted on her facebook page.

That’s Miller in an interview with radio host Rocky D posted to her facebook account. She describes herself as a Southern historian and has focused her campaign on preserving monuments to Florida veterans in all wars including the Civil War. Candidate Miller shares the same name with City Commissioner Nancy Miller, which also confused the radio host:

Sound- “You were a county commissioner before before, weren’t you?" Rocky D asked.

"No, I was not," said Miller. "There’s another Nancy miller who was a county commissioner in Leon County—I am a newcomer to the political arena.”

And Tallahassee City Commissioner Nancy Miller wants to make sure the difference is clear. She says she's taking the situation seriously, and worries the issue will affect her future campaign.

“Tallahassee City Commissioner Nancy Miller is not associated at all with Candidate Nancy Miller of Steinhatchee," said Commissioner Miller's aid, M'Lisa Ingram.

Name confusion has often led little known candidates to victories in races, drawing upon the reputations of well-known politicians.

“Their political ideologies are worlds apart," Ingram said.

Candidate Miller recently appeared on the WFSU-TV campaign show, Bandwagon and criticized incumbent Florida Senator Bill Montford, a Democrat, for his votes against bills limiting abortion options, and gun access, and in favor of proposals to remove confederate emblems.

“It’s time we elect a senator who shares our values. And finally, you have a choice between a liberal Hilary Clinton professional politician. Or a small business owner who supports making Florida and America great again," Miller said.

Montford has often works with Republicans to craft education policy, and he’s the longtime leader of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. During WFSU-TV’s bandwagon, he highlighted issues such as education, the environment, and boosting state worker pay.

“We’ve only had one raise for our state employees in eight years. That’s not good. And the fact is, we have the lowest number of state employees per capita than any state in the capita. Our state employee salaries rank in the lowest 25 percent in the county. And we must do something to attract and retain the very best in state government.”

His opponent, Candidate Miller has acknowledges her views on history may not make her popular:

"If it loses me votes. I have a voice for liberty. And a voice for liberty is standing up for these veterans. A voice for liberty is the second amendment. I’m not just a one issue candidate. But I want people to know who I am. And if I’ve lost that vote, I’ve lost it honorably," she told radio host Rocky D.

Election Day is November eighth and some ballots are already in the mail.