PALM HARBOR America's third-largest political party will be fielding a challenge to Governor Rick Scott and presumptive Democrat nominee Charlie Crist in the 2014 election. Florida Libertarian Party Chairman Adrian Wyllie officially announced his candidacy for Governor last week.
Following the trail blazed by Presidential candidates Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in 2012, Wyllie has a platform focused on economic freedom, individual liberty, and the Constitution. In one of his first campaign stops at the Lake City Tea Party last Thursday, Wyllie took a strong stand against what he sees as an overreaching federal government.
"I promise that, if elected, I will defend all Floridians from any unconstitutional Congressional act, executive order or United Nations mandate," said Wyllie. He also blamed Gov. Rick Scott for "rolling over" to the Obama administration on federal health care mandates and federal gun control.
The Wyllie campaign already has a core team of 50 volunteer staffers, and that number is growing daily.
"We will be outspent, there's no question about that, probably by a 50-to-1 ratio," said Wyllie, "but our focus will be on the ground game. Our plan is to reach more voters personally than our opponents, and we do that with motivated volunteers."
He expects to have approximately 6,000 volunteers by 2014, which is one volunteer for every voting precinct in the state.
"Our debt is unsustainable, our currency is becoming worth less every day. The Tea Party says the government is to blame. The occupy movement says the bankers are to blame," said Wyllie. "They're both right."
Wyllie says states have remedies to protect citizens from a potential economic crisis. He promotes plans like the Intrastate Commerce Act, which would make any goods manufactured and sold within Florida immune from federal taxation and regulation. He adds that this would include the manufacture and sale of firearms.
Wyllie serves as a member of the Florida Steering Committee for Fix The Debt, which is chaired by former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala. He is co-host of the syndicated talk radio show "Liberty Underground," which airs on three AM radio stations in Florida.
When asked if hosting his radio show will present a conflict under "equal time" rules for candidates during the campaign, Wyllie responded, "Rick and Charlie are more than welcome to join me on every show. Let's hammer out the issues for all to hear."
While acknowledging that a third-party bid for Florida's top office is a long shot, Wyllie says that Floridians are looking for a challenge to the status quo.
"We've tried Coke. We've tried Pepsi," said Wyllie. "It's time for some pure spring water called liberty. That's what I'm offering."