The bold slogan splashed across Adrian Wyllie’s campaign materials urges Floridians to “Take a Stand!” It’s a motto the state’s Libertarian candidate for governor takes seriously.
Driving through Bradenton recently in a black Chrysler 300 bearing Libertarian bumper stickers, Wyllie was prepared to be arrested at any moment.
The 44-year-old computer consultant refuses to carry a driver’s license in protest of a federal ID law he views as overly intrusive, a decision that already led to one short jail stint this year. That comfort with confrontation and his potential to draw supporters from other candidates makes Wyllie a wild card in Florida’s 2014 governor’s race.
Having been told he cannot address a campaign forum at a gathering of Florida news organizations Thursday, Wyllie vows he will speak or be dragged off by force.
But his presence in the race could prove disruptive in more consequential ways, with some predicting he might swing a close election by pulling votes from one of the major party contenders, most likely Republican Gov. Rick Scott, experts say.
Libertarians have been attracting attention across the nation in recent years thanks to a confluence of political cross currents — war fatigue, debt concerns, marijuana legalization efforts — that dovetail with the party’s positions.