Libertarian Calen Fretts is getting unusual publicity in his race for Florida’s first congressional district. He’s been mentioned in the New York Times and Bloomberg Magazine and featured in the Northwest Florida Daily News.
He was included in a recent televised debate which has been replaying across the district. "We got a lot of good feedback from the debate, and I think the winds are shifting in the right direction," he said.
The Democrat in the race, military veteran Jim Bryan, has not been campaigning as intensely as Fretts, leaving entrenched Republican incumbent Jeff Miller as his main target. Fretts has criticized Miller’s votes to increase the national debt by $5 trillion, for the Patriot Act and for the National Defense Authorization Act.
With a brother currently serving in Afghanistan, Fretts is a credible voice for a non-interventionist foreign policy. In contrast to Miller, who serves on the Armed Services Committee and votes consistently for more military spending, Fretts calls for pulling all troops out of the Middle East and closing foreign military bases. He jokes that his brother is “fighting foreign enemies, and I’m fighting domestic enemies. I will not vote for anymore debt, and I support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution."
Fretts advocates for sunset provisions to Federal laws, a bill that protects states’ Second Amendment rights, and legislation that supports term limits. "Limiting terms really strikes a cord with people," says Fretts. "Voters here are fed up with career politicians."
Calen Fretts, 27, said his libertarian message is playing well to voters in his district. He was endorsed by several local Tea Party groups and the Florida Tenth Amendment Center.
"Democrats are coming over to our side, as well as a ton of Republicans," said Fretts. "In the last debate, one of the questions was, ‘what would you do to break Washington’s bi-partisan gridlock?’ I said to vote them all out and put in guys who can work for the good of Americans, instead of the good of the government."
Although there are no published polls on the race, Fretts is optimistic looking towards Election Day. "I think we’ve definitely had a lot of success,” he said. “I see great things for the Libertarian Party and the libertarian ideology. We’re on the upswing and it is spreading across America."