Libertarian Foxall wins media’s only endorsement in state house race, participates in TV debate

Screen image of ABC-7 host Alan Cohn at right moderating televised debate; text on screen 'House district 72 debate'; three candidates seated together on left half of split screen at desk are, from left: Margaret Good, Alison Foxall, James Buchanan, all wearing dark blazers (color screen image)

ABC-7 host Alan Cohn (at right) moderates televised candidates’ debate on Jan. 30, 2018. The candidates are (from left): Democrat Margaret Good, Libertarian Alison Foxall, and Republican James Buchanan.

On Feb. 8, the Observer newspaper conferred their endorsement on Alison Foxall, the Libertarian candidate for Florida state house, district 72. It was the race’s only media endorsement to date.

Foxall also participated in a televised debate on ABC 7 on Jan. 30.  Following brief opening statements, moderator Alan Cohn posed questions to Foxall and her two opponents, including those submitted in advance by viewers.

Foxall explained that she’s running for state house because she wants Florida to prosper. “We need to stop corporate welfare — that includes industry welfare and sports welfare. I want to see health care mostly deregulated…so that we can lower those costs.”

One of Foxall’s highest priorities if elected would be a comprehensive bill to deregulate occupational licensing. She said that Florida is “the most burdensome in the nation. We regulate almost 325 businesses and professions. I want to see that dramatically reduced so we create jobs…and let the free market flourish.”

The debate participants discussed the second amendment and mental health; developers’ responsibility for infrastructure; free speech; abortion policy; school choice and funding; and more.

Foxall’s campaign has also set fundraising records. According to Communications Director Brian McLaughlin, on Feb. 7 Foxall “surpassed the $30,000 mark in fundraising. She broke the Florida Libertarian fundraising record for any Florida house election three weeks ago, and now she has surpassed the LP Florida senate record of $27,767. Grassroots donations have ramped up dramatically in the final month, as more and more people realize this isn’t your average third-party candidate.”

From the Observer editorial, “Break the political cycle,” by editor and CEO Matt Walsh:

[The] district has been a Republican district. But over the past decade, Democrats and non-party affiliates (NPAs) have become a threat — Republicans make up 44.1 percent of the district’s registered voters; Democrats, 43.1 percent; and NPAs, 12.6 percent.

Surprisingly, none of the likely candidates for this seat stepped in. Filling the vacuum? The three rookie politicians: Republican James Buchanan, son of six-term U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan; Democrat Margaret Good, a Sarasota lawyer; and Libertarian Alison Foxall, a 29-year-old owner of a marketing business.

Their challenge is to sell their character, political philosophies and ideas. But what makes that all the more difficult are the standard tactics of the two major political parties’ machines. Indeed, the Republican and Democratic parties are turning their candidates into hackneyed, unlikable political caricatures.

The effects of the bombardment of negative campaign mailers and TV ads are a growing disgust among voters with politics altogether. This is making more and more voters look for an alternative to the two major parties.

Foxall told us [that] voters have buoyed her optimism for a possible victory. As she has canvassed the district, many voters have expressed their willingness to consider an alternative to the major party candidates. “It doesn’t matter what my positions are; people are gravitating toward me because I’m different, I’m positive,” she says.

Foxall, for sure, is a long shot. But when you assess the three candidates, she is a refreshing departure.

Consider the candidates’ political philosophies. Good is a standard-issue liberal. Read her issue positions on her website. They’re the usual compendium of platitudes; calls for more, bigger government; more government regulation; less freedom and free enterprise. Buchanan is standard Republican: “limiting regulation and keeping our taxes low … We must end sanctuary cities and put a stop to illegal immigrants … allow the free market to improve access to quality (health) care” and “competition to ensure affordable prices.”

In contrast is Foxall. She fits the Libertarian label — which we would describe as a common-sense embracing of individual freedom over government interference. Yes, Foxall believes in decriminalizing marijuana. “Why not? It’s [private] business,” she says. If she had a magic wand, she would separate education from the state. But she knows that’s not realistic. She favors giving parents more choice. “I’d rather see the money in the hands of parents” than in vouchers.… “The role of Medicaid should shrink; deregulate the health care industry, and eventually we won’t need Medicaid.”

This one is a truth that all Libertarians embrace: “Health care is a service,” Foxall says. “No one is entitled to someone else’s labor.”

She opposes subsidies for economic development, sports stadiums, [or] tourism promotion. She has a concealed-carry permit. “If you’ve served your time, you should have your rights restored.”

The more you talk to Foxall, the more you see she would offer a fresh, independent alternative to the Democrat–Republican dogma.

Given the bromidic, banal dogma of the major party candidates, it would be refreshing to send an independent alternative to Tallahassee. Perhaps District 72 voters will have the courage to embrace that message. 

We recommend: Alison Foxall. 

The special election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Read the full Observer article, “Break the political cycle,” here.

Click here to watch the ABC-7 WWSB debate.

Lean more at the Foxall for State House campaign website: