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This is sort of a guest blog by Joe Enroughty, one of the leaders of the Libertarian Robert Sarvis campaign and it is about the LP candidate for Governor of Florida – Adrian Wyllie.  I reprint it because he showed class and class in politics is somethign to cheer about whatever your political afflilation.

The background is:  Wyllie was excluded from a debate in such as manner that he felt was a pretext for excluding all third party candidates so he announced he was going to the debate site and either be in the debate or get arrested.  Here’s what happened (in Wyllie’s own words):


    From Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian Candidate For Governor Of Florida:

I just got back into town, and I thought I should update everyone on today’s events.

Shortly after arriving at the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of News Editors convention at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, I scouted the conference area, just off the hotel lobby.

The FPA followed through with their plans to increase security. Posted at the entrance to the convention area was a uniformed city police officer with a photo of me in his hand. I saw him repeatedly shifting his gaze from the photo, and then to the faces entering the lobby. They were definitely looking for me.

I approached the officer quickly, so by the time he recognized me I was standing right in front of him. I smiled, pointed at the photo in his hand, and said, “Yes, that’s me. But I’m not going to cause a ruckus just yet.”

We were awaiting the arrival of a local TV news crew that had planned to cover the event. Unfortunately, they called and advised us they were stuck in traffic, and they would be at least an hour late.

We would have to go ahead without them.

I walked toward the conference area with staff and supporters in tow. The chief of security started calling after me to stop. I ignored him and kept walking. To his credit, the police officer did not move to intercept me.

I approached Dean Ridings, President of the Florida Press Association, who was waiting there for me. I told him that we both know why I’m here, and I asked him whether they were going to allow me in.

He stuck to his guns regarding their arbitrary criteria for inclusion, and we began engaging in a civil, but tense debate.

Neither of us was budging from our position.

A crowd began to gather, with my supporters on one side, and members of the press on the other. No one in the crowd spoke. They watched Dean and me intently.

Several people were recording the event, so I expect video to be available sometime soon.

After a few minutes of debate, Dean’s position began to soften. He offered to let me into the event, but would not allow me on stage. He said I would be free to speak to the assembled media one-on-one.

It was a major concession on their part.

They were extending an olive branch, and it seemed sincere. The situation began to feel less like a confrontation, and more like a good faith negotiation.

At that point, I had a decision to make. I could accept the concession they were offering, deescalate the encounter, and take the opportunity to meet personally with the publishers and editors of Florida’s largest media outlets.

Or, I could reject their offer, proceed to the podium, and be arrested.

At that moment, I knew that if I had proceeded, that my candidacy and the Libertarian Party would probably not be taken seriously again for a very long time.

No matter how gracefully I proceeded, exaggerated headlines across the state tomorrow would read, “Extremist Libertarian Disrupts Press Event, Terrifies Guests.” Much of the credibility we’ve earned in recent years would be lost in an instant.

I would have won the day’s battle, but lost the entire war. I agreed to their terms.

They issued convention credentials to me and one staff member, and gave us access. I spent the afternoon speaking directly with the heads of major newspapers and media outlets. I found that there was actually a great deal of interest in our campaign within the press.

Cell phone numbers were exchanged. Relationships were founded.
We scheduled several interviews with reporters, and planned meetings with editorial boards for endorsement consideration.

Also, based on our discussions, it is seems much more likely that I will be included in all of the televised debates.

I have to admit, my ego was somewhat deflated because I didn’t triumphantly take the stage to address the media. We were itching for a “fight” and we didn’t get one.

But in the end, I’m very glad that I trusted my instinct and accepted the truce offered by the FPA. I sincerely believe we advanced the cause of liberty today.


I think Wyllie helped his own cause.  I am of course not endorsing but I do endorse Wyllie’s grace and class in how he handled it.  This race is like the Sarvis race last year:  Two unpopular candidates and an alternative.  I might have to see more about Wyllie.  Thanks to Joe Enroughty!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “LIBERTARIAN PARTY hopeful for GOVERNOR of FLORIDA shows CLASS but stands for PRINCIPLE!”

  1. OrlandoChris says:

    Folks, it all comes down to recognition. We need to spread the word about Adrian Wyllie in order for him to win. I am very much behind the “super brochure” plan, so much so, that I personally have completely covered my entire precinct where I live. I think it’s the most affective and economical way to bring the super voters, attention to Adrian Wyllie. Most don’t even know there is another choice other than scott/crist. It only cost me $47.50 to cover my precinct. I urge others to do the same. If you want him elected, you must do something to make it happen. Just your one vote will not do it. Take advantage of this great opportunity we have to get a Libertarian in the Governor’s office. We (Floridians) desperately need this. I beg you to do what you can.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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