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.
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Gun shop owner joins race for House seat
A Spring Hill gun shop owner has filed to run for the open state House seat in District 35.
James Scavetta, 60, filed papers this week to run as a no-party candidate for the seat currently held by Rob Schenck, a Spring Hill Republican who must leave office because of term limits.
A native of Queens, N.Y., Scavetta moved from New York to Spring Hill in 1987.
He received his high school diploma by passing the GED exam, has never been married and has no children.
He opened Shadow Hawk Inc. in Spring Hill in 2009. The shop offers firearms and survival gear.
Scavetta said in an interview that he is dissatisfied with both major parties and hopes to offer "a refreshing change."
He is the first no-party candidate to file.
There currently are two other candidates in the race: Republican Blaise Ingoglia, 43, a Spring Hill home builder who serves as chairman of the Hernando Republican Executive Committee and vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and Spring Hill Democrat and former Hernando County Commissioner Rose Rocco, 72. Another Democrat, Dave Welch of Brooksville, dropped out last month, citing personal reasons.
District 35 includes most of Hernando, except for the area generally north of State Road 50 and west of the Suncoast Parkway.