Ex-head shop owner to run for Congress again
A former online head shop owner who ran for Congress as a write-in candidate two years ago is back for another bid.
Ray Bruce Riggs, 47, of Crystal River filed papers this week to run as a no-party candidate for the 11th Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Rep. Rich Nugent of Spring Hill. Nugent is seeking a third term.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Riggs, who goes by Bruce, has a high school diploma and has lived in Citrus County since 1985.
He said he makes a living from commissions earned from websites he builds.
He took the smoking pipes off his own site, halfpricepipes.com, and describes it now as an online shopping mall.
Riggs served nearly seven years in state prison after a Citrus County jury convicted him in 1997 of trying to hire a hit man to kill a woman. Riggs maintains his innocence.
In an interview, Riggs said he wants to expose what he says is the government's failure to ratify the 14th Amendment to the Constitution after the Civil War, a failure that he claims diminishes the rights of Americans.
The other three challengers are also political newcomers. Democrat David. C Koller, 43, is an Ocala businessowner. Matthew Schnackenberg is a 26-year-old retail worker and student from Masaryktown and a member of the Libertarian Party of Florida. Republican Michael Uminski, a 69-year-old retired engineer, lives in the Villages.
District 11 includes Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties and a portion of Marion County.