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News Story
Updated: 08/15/2014 09:34:24AM

A campaign you

can drink to

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S.L. Frisbie

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Third party and independent candidates for public office have two things in common:

(1) They truly believe they not only can but will win the election.

(2) They are wrong.

Even Charlie Crist, Florida’s Inde-Republi-Crat candidate for governor, learned that just because you are a former Republican governor doesn’t mean you can keep the same suntan but declare yourself an Independent and win election to the U.S. Senate.

Having mastered the great political truth that running as an Independent is about the closest a politician can come to qualifying for 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, Crist has reinvented himself as a Democrat, and the party faithful have embraced him as if he were born into their ranks.

While Scott and Crist keep trading narrow leads in the polls, Adrian Wylie has added a little seasoning to an otherwise bland political stew by mounting a candidacy as a Libertarian.

I have a friend — only one, as far as I know — who is a Libertarian, and I respect both him and his views. I have never heard him seriously advance the premise that our next governor will come from the rank (I’m not sure they have enough members to form multiple ranks) of Libertarians.

Adrian Wylie, who is actively campaigning for governor under the Libertarian banner, is boasting of his nine-percent showing in a Quinnipiac University poll, meaning that Scott and Crist between them have cornered only a paltry 91 percent of the voters.

The first of this month, Wylie announced a month-long meet-and-greet tour of 31 Florida cities to build momentum in his campaign. My apologies for being two weeks late in getting this information out to the voting public.

Unlike the famed “Walkin’ Lawton” tour of yesteryear that made Lawton Chiles a household name, Adrian Wylie is focusing his tour with pinpoint precision on one demographic.

He is visiting 31 craft breweries and pubs.

Forget the photo ops on the courthouse steps or the nostalgic visits to his high school alma mater. Wylie is angling for the hops and barley crowd.

His reasoning for the brewery tour, he says, is “to show support for a small-business industry that narrowly escaped financial disaster at the hands of the 2014 Florida Legislature and Governor Scott.”

It began on Friday, Aug. 1, with an appearance from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fort Myers Brewing Co., and ends on Saturday, Aug. 30, with a stop from 9 to 10 p.m. (Central Standard Time) at McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery in Pensacola.

Other stops on the tour include Big Bear Brewing in Coral Springs, Seadog Tavern in Key West, Wild Rover Pub in Odessa, Cask and Larder in Winter Park, Redlight Redlight (no, that is not a typographical error) in Orlando, and Uncle Ernie’s in Panama City.

I try to do my part for Florida’s brewing industry by sipping an occasional craft beer. While I may not be able to tear myself away from my iPad for long enough to actually attend one of Wylie’s campaign events, he did increase the chances by his scheduling.

The earliest brewery visit on his schedule is at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and the average begins around 7 p.m. Two start at 9, and one at 10. This is a man who knows when to find his constituents in their natural habitat.

I have a friend who scowls whenever the topic of the Crist-Scott election comes up, and declares, “I ain’t going to vote for either one of ‘em.”

Perhaps he can find a political home with Adrian Wylie’s candidacy.

If nothing else, it’s a campaign you can drink to.

———

(S. L. Frisbie is retired. He once had a friend whose beverage of choice was summed up by his frequent declaration, “Budweiser: Breakfast of Champions.” That man liked his beer.)


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