Due to an unforeseen set of circumstances in the last two days, Libertarian Congressional Candidate Lucas Overby, who had originally intended to wait until 2016 to run for the Congressional District 13 (CD--13) seat here in Florida, announced Friday afternoon (May 2) he would in fact enter the race for Congress in this November's election.
With Wednesday's unexpected withdrawal of the Democratic Candidate Manuel Sykes from November's CD--13 contest, Overby and his team felt the relatively unpopular Republican David Jolly should not go unchallenged this fall. After the deadline for a Democrat to file for election had passed Friday afternoon, Overby publicly announced his campaign for CD–13.
Overby's reputation and experience gained from the March Special Election
During the special election held in Congressional District 13 (CD--13), covering the majority of Pinellas County, Libertarian Congressional Candidate Lucas Overby gained a lot of recognition and respect from his constituents in his district. Thousands of supporters verbally promised to support Overby over Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly in the March 11 Special Election.
However, establishment Republicans campaigned hard the last weekend before the race, using the cliche “lesser of two evils argument”, trying to scare constituents into believing voting for Overby would sweep Sink into office. Karl Rove commissioned Rand Paul to record a robocall on Jolly's behalf, specifically targeting the 20,000 voters most likely to support Overby in the Special Election. By Tuesday, bringing a 15 percent in increase in support for David Jolly in the last two days of the election, and leaving Overby with a disappointing (though respectable through outsiders eyes) five percent of the vote.
Major differences between March's and November's Elections
The Republicans ability to convince their supporters to voter for the GOP over anyone else, as “any vote for a minor party is a vote for a Democrat” is not applicable this time. There will not be $12 billion spent on mudslinging between the Republican and Democrat, working jointly to keep the Libertarian out of the limelight. This November, the well-known and well-liked Libertarian Lucas Overby will run alone against the fairly unpopular and rather in-consistent David Jolly.
Overby speaks with Examiner
On Friday evening, Libertarian Congressional Candidate Lucas Overby took time to answer a few questions for the Tampa Bay Libertarian Examiner about his upcoming campaign for Congress.
When did you decide to campaign for the November Election? I started thinking about it Sunday evening. After the Democrat dropped out of the race Wednesday evening, I officially made the decision Thursday morning. However, I waited until early Friday afternoon to publicize my decision.
What made you decide to run for the race in November? After the Democratic Candidate Maunel Sykes was basically pushed out and disowned by his own political party, my staff and I could not let Jolly go unchallenged. The way the Pinellas Democratic Party treated him (Sykes) was uncalled for.
What did you learn from the first race that will continue into this race? Well I learned $12,000 does not go as far as $12 million. However, my high approval ratings and hard work also helped to re-engage and re-empower voters who had given up on voting, and show citizens they had more to choose from than just the “lesser of two evils”.
What do you plan to do differently this time? Well, I plan to raise more money for one. Also, we are crafting a better get-out-the-vote strategy. We have realized a verbal promise to vote for me does not always carry itself to the polls where the cold feet happen.
How do you plan to raise more money? We will ensure we have more solid base fundraisers, and be more proactive in asking for donations. Without a true “other evil” in the race, we can concentrate more on raising funds. We plan to put together a money bomb this weekend.
How do you expect the attacks to differ this time? We believe the attacks will remain on the public level. I myself am not an attack candidate. However, we know we will be treated as a real threat this time.
Final words from Overby's interview
Overby finished up the interview by saying he has some good opportunities, and that his staff is really excited this time. While he was disappointed the stormy weather interfered with coverage from the news crews, Overby feels he has a big advantage over the Special Election, as Jolly has not acted nor voted the way many Republicans had hoped.
Overby believes with this being the second round, and with both he and Jolly having the name recognition from the previous election, both candidates will spend time getting out and meeting with the public. Overby still plans to remain on the two committees he serves on with the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF), including the Candidates Committee, on which he serves as the chair.
Help Libertarian Lucas Overby's Campaign and the LPF
To help support Libertarian Candidate Lucas Overby's Congressional Campaign, whether through activism, monetary donations, or both, please visit his campaign website and Facebook page. To get involved with the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF), please visit the party's website and Facebook page.