Florida Gubernatorial Hopeful Once Begged to Be Arrested
The Libertarian candidate in Florida’s gubernatorial election is not satisfied to be just an ideologue or even a spoiler in the November election.
Adrian Wyllie, who served in the U.S. Army’s 56th Air Defense Artillery and the 53rd Infantry Brigade, wants to win, he expects to win, and he has a plan set for his first day in office.
“Day One, the first thing I do, even before I sit down at my desk, will be to instruct the IT department to install a webcam system which will stream all meetings I have live on the Internet,” he said. “We are going to introduce real transparency and go after the corruption that is rampant in Tallahassee.”
But first he has to win. Wyllie is running a distant, distant third in the three-candidate race. He has been so far behind that the polls have only just now begun to include him.
The most recent polls show Wyllie has 4-9 percent of the vote with less than 60 days to go before the election.
Analysts say that Wyllie could pull votes away from both candidates, Gov. Rick Scott (R) and former Gov. Charlie Crist (D). But they don’t think he stands a chance of winning.
In the 10th tracking poll for WFLA-TV in Tampa, SurveyUSA added Wyllie’s name to the “who would you vote for” question. He picked up 4 percent of the voters’ support compared to Scott at 44 percent and Crist at 41 percent.
Truth be told, Wyllie did as well as “some other candidate” did in the other nine tracking polls.
Wyllie polled better in an August Quinnipiac University survey. But he still only got 9 percent voter support. The survey also showed that Crist’s 2 percent point lead — 39-37 percent over Scott — would increase to 5 points without Wyllie on the ballot.
Pretty dismal, right?
Wyllie told PJ Media his team doesn’t read the numbers that way.
“The numbers show that the majority of people we are reaching have decided to vote for me. I think that trend means all we have to do is make sure our message is heard,” he said. “When they see that there is a viable third alternative, it makes a big difference to them.”
Even with that interpretation of the numbers, there is also the question of money.
Crist and Scott have a lot. Wyllie does not.
The Naples Daily News reported Aug. 24 that the Democrat and Republican had pulled in $15 million between them in out-of-state advertising money.
“We will only have a tiny fraction of the war chests that my competitors will have,” Wyllie admitted. “However, we will have something that they wished they had — an army of grass-roots volunteers.”
This will be a retail political campaign, Wyllie hopes, at its best. There will be a lot of kitchen table meetings, neighbors inviting neighbors to their homes to learn more about this Libertarian who would be governor, and of course, convoys of voters driving to the polls by carloads on Election Day.
At least that is the plan.
“We have 1,500 people working statewide as precinct captains that are tasked with getting out the vote in their neighborhoods,” said Wyllie, who owns and operates a small business — an IT company — as his day job.
Wyllie and his lt. governor nominee, insurance agent Greg Roe, visited 30 cities in Florida in August recruiting volunteers for the campaign and wooing voters.
Support is coming from the left and right wings of the political spectrum, according to Wyllie.
“Our ideal voter is anyone who is just completely disgusted and disenfranchised with the status quo,” he explained. “There are few candidates who get an equally warm reception at a Tea Party event and a Gay Pride event. But that is the kind of thing that we are seeing.”