Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson coming to Tampa Bay on Friday
Johnson, 59, the former two-term New Mexico governor, is planning a luncheon/meet-and-greet at Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E 7th Ave., in Tampa from 12:30-2 p.m.
Later, in Dunedin, he will throw out the first pitch at the Dunedin Blue Jays game and then head to a reception at Blur and the Chic-A-Boom Room (319 Main Street).
Johnson last came to Tampa Bay in December to drum up support for his failed bid to win the Republican nomination. He was excluded from most GOP debates.
"The Republican National Committee has turned their backs on a message that appeals more and more to the American public," he said in a Tampa Bay Times interview then.
His platform includes immediately ordering troops home from Afghanistan; creating an easy work-visa program; cutting the Department of Education and IRS; and replacing the current tax system with a 23-percent fair tax on consumption. He supports abortion rights, gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.
One zany campaign ad posted Monday paints a grim picture of the new health care law before switching to rock-and-roll music and asking, "Want government the hell out of healthcare? Baby, I'm with you. And I'm running for president."
Johnson's Friday visit will cap a week of stops in Jacksonville, Orlando, Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton.
Photo by Times staff photographer Jim Damaske, 2011