By Fred Arnold
The definition of American modern-day politics, Democrat versus Republican, falters in the November election for the House of Representatives when no Democrat candidate steps up. Republican David Jolly defends his seat against Lucas Overby – Libertarian most likely to succeed. What do they have to offer?
The death of Congressmen Bill Young brought on a special election held in March, 2014. Heated debates ensued between David Jolly, Alex Sink, and Lucas Overby. In the end Jolly won with 48.4% of the vote.
Sink ran a strong campaign against Jolly in March with a 46.6% voter turnout. Her choice not to run in November for personal reasons left Democrats scrambling. “I have made a personal decision not to run”, Tampa Bay Times quotes from Sink. “I remain totally convinced that a Democrat can and will win this congressional seat in the fall”. Fate, however, has other plans. Ed Jany, a popular choice amongst the Democratic Party to run in November, falls victim to the crux of time. Multiple changes in his party affiliation hampers his ability to run and, without Sink, David Jolly remains
One man’s bad news is one man’s grand entrance. Lucas Overby, a Libertarian, pulled off a 5% voter turnout in March. “For a third party candidate it’s not bad”, says Overby while taking a sip of tea. His plans were to stay out of the election until he saw an opportunity. “No Democrat candidate puts Lucas in a good position”, says Joseph Santaniello, Campaign Manager for Overby. “Lucas cares about the people and does not make promises he cannot keep”, he says.
November 4th marks the day of the Primary Election for House Representative in District 13. A the date rounds the corner Overby is confident while Jolly retains a patient outlook.
“If I do my job, the politics will work itself out”, Congressmen David Jolly says as he mulls over his competition. “I have great respect for Lucas at the end of the day”.
Lucas Overby, 28, spent the better part of his life as an activist. He pushed for medical marijuana and gay rights, and works to create a more informed voter base. He accomplished this with the creation of “Take a District” – a non-partisan group that aims to teach people about politics. With his decision to run, he has stepped down from ownership. This has not changed his mind about people and politics.
“There’s two ways of handling congressional affairs; by manipulation or inclusion.” Says Overby as he explains his idea to revolutionize the transparency of politicians. Lucas prides himself on his open phone and Facebook policy and states, “Anyone can pick up the phone and call me with an idea. If it’s a good idea… we will work with it to see it happen”.
He plans to create a bitcoin style website that offers real time updates to his votes. The website will include polls and surveys to give District 13 a voice. The information will be placed in an archive and stored for anyone to pull up.
David Jolly, 41, lives a full life and loves his extended family. He has run small businesses, which gives him insight into employer/employee relationships and taxes. As a law school graduate from George Mason University, Jolly wishes to utilize his law experience to pursue Veteran’s Affairs issues, flood insurance increases, and beach re-nourishment.
Jolly stands for the ideals of ‘hold me accountable’. His campaign team currently tests new ways for him to reach his constituents and states that due to the number of votes he casts on a monthly basis complete transparency is difficult. “My vote is always placed online through the government website: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/”, he says.
When asked about his opinion of Overby’s platform, Jolly states he remained unfamiliar. This did not stop Lucas from his opinion on Jolly’s platform, however. Jolly plans to run a beach campaign that will pursue clean beaches and economic stability. Overby feels this is a misstep. The beach issue should be placed upon the State governments and that focus should be on larger issues like tax reform. Jolly wishes to put the money given from Federal aid into the new beach cleanup campaign.
Both candidates feel that Veterans issues are important and require a change. The nuances behind each candidates’ plan differ, but one thing remains the same: get Veterans the care they want and deserve. At the moment these men and women have to go through the clogged VA system, which could mean months with no medical attention. Jolly and Overby pursue an insurance based system that allows Vets to see out of network doctors.
A new poll has not been released since June 5, 2014 by Saint Peters Blog. That poll had Lucas Overby trailing David Jolly by only 16 points. Lucas has the chance to make history for the Libertarian Party and feels confident in his ideas and campaign. Sarah Bascom, main PR Spokesperson for the Jolly Campaign, feels confident in Jolly’s victory, but states, “In politics, nothing is a sure thing.” She still has faith that the people will vote for Jolly. “At the end of the day, he’s kept his promises”, she states with conviction.
Photographs by Preston Rudie.
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