TALLAHASSEE -- Allie Braswell, the head of the Central Florida Urban League who declared his candidacy for state chief financial officer last week, has called it quits and is withdrawing from the race.
Shortly after he declared his candidacy, the Florida Times Union reported that he had declared bankruptcy three times dating back to the mid 1990s.
"I have, at times, faced challenges in life that have not met with the outcomes I have desired," Braswell said in a statement Monday. "I take full responsibility for my actions, and apologize to my supporters. The bright spotlight of a statewide campaign has cast the ups and downs of my life into harsh relief, and I now know that this campaign is not the way I was meant to serve my community.
"Running statewide is a daunting challenge for any candidate; as a political outsider, I have now learned that I underestimated how my campaign would affect those I care about most."
Braswell, 51, took over the Central Florida Urban League three years ago and was praised for restoring its financial footing. Before that, before that he had been an executive with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Walt Disney World for seven years.
According to the Times-Union, he filed for bankruptcy in Orlando in 2008 and had done so twice before in South Carolina in the 1990s.
His decision was a blow to Allison Tant, the new chair of the Florida Democratic Party, who last week described Braswell as "exactly the kind of leader we need in Tallahassee."
Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry issued a statement this morning mocking Tant.
"Allie Braswell had better sense to drop out than Allison Tant did to endorse him," Curry said in a statement. "To back a candidate in charge of Florida's finances without vetting that candidate's handling of his personal finances shows either a high level of incompetence or a new level of desperation for Allison Tant."