Lucas Overby, the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives 13th District seat in Florida, is polling at 31 percent in a two-way race according to a poll commissioned by the St.PetersBlog. The Republican incumbent, David Jolly, is polling at 47 percent.
“We are excited about these poll numbers. We are two months ahead of where we expected to be,” Overby said.
Libertarian candidates, especially federal candidates, rarely poll this high — particularly not five months prior to an election.
Independent candidate Ed Jany was also on the ballot, but soon withdrew, citing work obligations.
Jany wanted to run as a Democrat for the race, but couldn’t, because he had recently been registered as a Republican.
Florida law stipulates that a person cannot run as a party’s candidate if they were registered with another political party within 365 days prior to the start of the qualifying period for that office. Jany had been registered as a Republican.
Lucas Overby won an impressive 4.8 percent of the vote in a special election for the same seat in March, a high vote total for a third party in three-way race against a Democrat and Republican, who together spent more than $12 million on their campaigns.
Now in a two-way race, many more voters will vote Libertarian. With Overby’s early high polling, coupled with his appeal to independents, fiscal conservatives, and civil libertarians, the Florida 13th District is a race to watch in 2014.
“The team effort over the last year has been tremendous, between this race and the special election for the seat last March, and we expect our numbers to climb,” Overby said.