We can’t effect change without liberty-minded people stepping up and running for office. Floridians deserve to have candidates on the ballot who represent libertarian views! This is only possible if citizens like yourself step up and stump for our principles of individual freedom and entrepreneurial opportunity for all.
Our political system is not permanently broken. It can be fixed.
We will need information on your background, biography, address (to verify you can run for your targeted office), reason for running for office. past political experience, and what you hope to accomplish if you win. We also strongly encourage you to join the Libertarian Party of Orange County so we can formally endorse you to carry our banner, and so that you can have a voice in our future direction to support you.
If you have not yet identified which office would be your best target to advance liberty, we can help you research the available Orange County, Orlando, Apopka, Bay Lake, Belle Isle, Eatonville, Edgewood, Lake Buena Vista, Maitland, Oakland, Windermere, Winter Garden, or Winter Park offices to target. We will also be glad to support candidates seeking state or federal offices within Florida who present a viable campaign strategy.
Things to consider before deciding to run for office:
It is truly an honor to represent the principles of liberty to the public. You are one of the few, the proud, the Libertarian.
“With liberty and justice for all” is a phrase that has been said at one point in time by every American. It is the last sentence in the Pledge of Allegiance.
We have said this phrase over a thousand times over the course of each our lives. It is said every school day across the country and before every City Council, County Council, State Legislator, and US Congress and Senate session. Unfortunately, most people and elected representatives have no clue what that phrase really means. They have no clue what the word “liberty” really means.
“Liberty” can be defined as simply this: “liberty is the absence of outside control or oppression over anyone’s life as long as an individual or a government is not infringing on the life, property, or rights of another.”
Now let’s talk about the word, “Libertarian.”
It is our choice as Libertarian activists to accept the responsibility of educating both citizen and elected official of their pledge to protect liberty and justice for all. There are 3 things we want you to consider before making the decision of running for office:
1. Why Are You Running for Office?
The first thing we want you to consider has to do with your reason for running for office. What has inspired and motivated you to take the initiative to express your desire to run for office?
Now, we don’t know what your “why” is, but for many in the Libertarian Party, their "why" is their children - the next generation to take up where we left off. We want to leave this country in a better condition for future generations than how we received it. When we were born, we didn’t get to choose the taxes we have to pay, the laws we have to follow, or the regulations that are distorting economic productivity and prosperity. Each of us is choosing to fix the mistakes of the generations who preceded us.
2. Can You Persevere?
The second thing we want you to consider is your level of inner strength and your ability to persevere through obstacles and obstructions that sometimes block your path.
The truth is most people who run for office; don’t win the first time they run. Your focus should be on learning the process and getting educated on running a successful campaign, recruiting and inspiring volunteers, and building your local Libertarian Party support network. In essence, you are building a collective team experience, not just yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are running for City Council or US Senate, your sights should be set on educating the public, advancing the movement, and increasing your experience base to set yourself and other Libertarian candidates up for future success.
As a candidate for office, you are given a platform and an audience the average activist just doesn’t have. Every experience should be looked at as a learning experience. Understand that in the beginning, you will be on a steep learning curve, but the more you take action, the better you will become. If you never take action, you will always be in the same place and nothing will improve.
Let's be honest: Florida is unfortunately a hostile field for most Libertarians today. From the conservative deep-red rural areas consistently carried by Republicans to the deep-blue large cities consistently carried by Democrats, we are the insurgents fighting for our first inch and for every inch beyond that to advocate radical liberty. Failure is a highly likely short-term outcome. However, that doesn't mean all candidates fail.
Take Martin Sullivan in Polk County: in the wake of deeply unpopular moves by his city council in Frostproof, he organized his community to win an unprecedented upset to put him on the Frostproof City Council. In 2015, as a Libertarian, he won his seat with an amazing 67.4% of the vote through local activism.
Or take Jared Grifoni, our most recent winning candidate for Marco Island City Council in Collier County. Jared had built a strong reputation both as a business leader (through his work in the local Dunkin' Donuts franchise) and through his passionate community involvement. He parlayed that community trust into a surprisingly conventional political campaign that won him a seat on the city council as an open Libertarian.
Or take the three Community Development District candidates and two Community Council candidates strategically supported by the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade County. These local officials have significant authority over local theft taxation and act as advisers to the powerful Miami-Dade County Commission. Furthermore, they reflect the full diversity one would expect in Miami. Consider, for example, Councilman Keon Grayson, an African-American who represents one of the poorest districts in Miami-Dade as a Libertarian, defying all stereotypes. The message of liberty can resonate with any community - white, black, Hispanic, Asian, or otherwise - with the proper message and community trust in the candidate.
Make the commitment to continually run for office until you win and you will be in a position to make a positive difference through the internal legislative process. Support for your campaign will continually grow and you will make like-minded, life-long friends in the process.
3. Are You Willing to Invest the Time and Energy?
The third thing you must take into consideration is the time commitment involved with running for office. There are time commitments in regards to self-improvement and campaign and relationship development.
Take this opportunity to improve yourself; your speaking skills, relationship skills, and your project management skills. At a minimum you should join a local speaker development group like “Toastmasters” and read books like, “Maximum Confidence” by Jack Canfield. You must develop yourself into a leader. Not just a “leader” but “someone who leads.” If possible, take courses in public speaking and political theory at Valencia or UCF. Or study online through MIT OpenCourseware or other resources. Make sure to check out our Recommended Reading to make sure you fully understand Libertarian political theory and economics, as well as the common statist arguments against it that you will constantly face.
It is up to us to work together to develop the networks in your district. You are ultimately responsible for the success of your campaign but our support is always but a phone call or email away. However, the more open you are to expanding your comfort zone and learning new skills, the more successful we will all be.
Here’s a recap of things to consider…
- Is the reason you are running for office big enough?
- Does it inspire you in a way that will give you the strength to persevere through the long days and hard work necessary to win?
- Are you ready to make the time commitment to bettering yourself, learning the skills to running an effective campaign, and inspiring others?
If you answered “yes” to all three of these questions…go for it! Just get started. Contact our party officers immediately and we can get rolling!