Ex-CIA officer Todd Wilcox portrays himself as 'warrior' running for Senate
Before the United States invaded Iraq, Todd Wilcox led some of the first Americans on the ground as a CIA officer.
In Operation Desert Storm, he earned a Bronze Star Medal after his Army platoon captured more than 250 Iraqi soldiers. From a Japanese base, he led a team of snipers in hostage situations throughout East Asia.
More than a decade later, though, he's struggling to command attention on a new, political battlefield at the Florida Gun Show.
It's a friendly crowd for a guy like Wilcox, a life member of the NRA who's shopping for a new scope for his gun, as well as for voters. But few passersby stop under the "Restoring America's Prominence" banner he set up that May morning to hear his earnest pitch to replace Marco Rubio as the next U.S. senator from Florida.
"That apathy's going to kill us," says Wilcox, 49, one of five Republicans angling for attention in a race full of unknowns and little-knowns. By "us" he doesn't just mean his own campaign; he means the United States.
Apathy is the first step toward the failure of America's 240-year experiment with democracy, he says. Career politicians have turned voters off government, making them complacent and the nation vulnerable.
Wilcox insists he isn't like those politicians.
He says it's time for a change. More specifically: "It's time to elect a warrior."