LARGO — While Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly are busy lining up powerhouse supporters and raking in campaign cash, the little-known Libertarian candidate for Pinellas County's open congressional seat has taken a different tack.
Lucas Overby, 27, has been walking door-to-door with a cadre of volunteers, collecting voter petitions to place his name on the ballot.
On Tuesday, he showed up at the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office in Largo and dropped off more than 1,200 petitions. Assuming at least 1,172 of them are valid registered voters within the 13th Congressional District, he can be placed on the ballot and avoid the filing fee of $10,440.
That's a good thing, Overby said, because his campaign doesn't have that kind of money. But even so, he said it was important for him to attempt to qualify for office this way.
"We went to the voters to ask their permission to put it on the ballot," he said.
Overby, a commercial diver and graduate of St. Petersburg's Lakewood High School, said that by going door-to-door, he learned a lot about voters' mind-set in the Pinellas congressional district which extends from the southern tip of Pinellas up to Dunedin, with a good chunk of St. Petersburg cut out.
He said voters want to know what he stands for and whether he's going to change his mind the minute he gets into office. People would ask: "What are you going to do when you actually get there?"
He said voters were much more concerned with that point than wanting to hear the intricacies of the Libertarian Party platform. Overby said voters seem fed up with not getting answers from politicians.
When asked about the issues, Overby said he would stress the overall need to cut federal spending, to reform defense contracting to make it more efficient, to cut corporate welfare and to review and reform welfare and entitlement programs.
Overby, Jolly and Sink are running in hopes of succeeding longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in a special election that was called after Young's death. The primary will be Jan. 14 and the general election will be March 11.