News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Economy / Business

Where's Wyllie? Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Fights For A Spot In Debates

Wyllie is Florida's Libertarian candidate for Governor
Wyllie is Florida's Libertarian candidate for Governor
Wyllie is Florida's Libertarian candidate for Governor
Wyllie is Florida's Libertarian candidate for Governor

Last Friday, Spanish language TV station Telemundo aired the first of Florida’s gubernatorial debates.  But Telemundo chose not to include Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. 

When Florida’s gubernatorial campaign got underway earlier this year, Adrian Wyllie was confident.  Speaking with WFSU in June, Wyllie was happy to report he had been invited to two general election debates and was hopeful he could secure an invitation to the remainder.  Four months later, Wyllie has filed suit in a federal court pleading to be included in this Wednesday’s debate at Broward College.  So what happened?  Where’s his invitation?

“That invitation was rescinded,” Wyllie says, “because they created a criteria that anyone participating in the debate must reach at least 15 percent in the poll by September 30.  Now under their criteria, I actually have met the guidelines, we just missed the deadline by a couple of days.”

If Wyllie had appeared onstage, here’s what he would’ve had to say about jobs.

“There are employers out there that would like to hire new workers, but they don’t because of the regulatory compliance issues, and the additional tax burdens and things of that nature” Wyllie says.  “So what we need to do is lift some of those burdens of businesses and let them hire new workers.  That is what’s going to stimulate the economy.”

Not so different from positions staked out by Gov. Rick Scott.  But Wyllie breaks with the Republican on the issue of same-sex marriage.

“Government doesn’t have the authority to tell anyone whom they may choose to ‘love, cherish and obey,” Wyllie says.  “So I would seek to really reverse the process of marriage licensing altogether, and leave marriage as an institution between individuals, and depending on their faith between the church that they choose.”

Democratic candidate Charlie Crist may not be angling to change marriage licensing, but he and Wyllie do agree on allowing, or at least not stopping, same-sex marriages. And this is typical of the Libertarian light touch approach to governance.  Reducing government intervention in regulation tracks closely with Republican ideology, while the same approach on social issues tends to mirror Democratic policies.  

But on some issues, Wyllie emphasizes his distinction from the major parties.  Crist supports Amendment Two, which would legalize medical marijuana, but Wyllie takes it one step further.

“Yes, I completely support Amendment Two; in fact I’m the only candidate in this race that supports full legalization of marijuana.”

The next debate will air Wednesday, October 15, and it will be followed by another on October 21.  Wyllie says his campaign is focused on convincing a court to order his inclusion for the first, and he’s hopeful the hosts of the final debate will invite him to attend.

Copyright 2020 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.