The race for the Florida U.S. Senate seat just became even more interesting as Alex Snitker becomes the first Libertarian to qualify for the ballot in the state’s history.
TALLAHASSEE – Standing on the steps of the historic State Capitol building, Alexander Snitker made some history of his own by becoming the first Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate to ever appear on the Florida ballot. Snitker announced that he had met all the requirements to qualify for the ballot, which included paying the $10,440 filing fee.
“This race just became at least a three-way dogfight,” Snitker told the assembled media at a press conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday.
Prior to the announcement, the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat was considered a two-way contest between the Democrat and Republican nominees, with Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio being the front runners from each respective party.
Rumors continue to grow that Gov. Charlie Crist will drop out of the GOP primary to run as an independent, which would result in a four-way contest between the two major parties, a Libertarian, and an independent.
Snitker is running on a platform centered on a Constitutionally-limited federal government. While Snitker and Rubio agree that the government is too large and spends too much money, they differ on how to solve the problem. Snitker proposes a balanced budget Amendment, abolishing the IRS in favor of the Fair Tax, an audit of the Federal Reserve, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.
However, on moral issues, Snitker sometimes sounds more like a Democrat. When asked his position on gay marriage, he queried, “Why should the federal government be involved in marriage at all? Isn’t marriage between two individuals? I haven’t found anything in the Constitution that governs individual relationships, so it is a power reserved to the states or to the people.”
The 34-year-old former Marine and office equipment salesman for AXSA Document Solutions considers himself to be a “citizen statesman” in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. “The framers of the Constitution never envisioned that someone would want to make a 40-year career out of serving in Congress,” he said. “They looked at it as a civic duty — you made the laws and then you went home to live by the laws that you made.”
To achieve that goal, Snitker proposes a two-term limit in the Senate, and a six-term limit in the House, both equaling 12 years maximum. He also supports ending Congressional pensions and perks.
After the announcement, opinion in the blogosphere seemed to be split right down the middle. Many tea partiers and conservative bloggers viewed him as a better alternative to Rubio; a regular guy as opposed to a career politician and lawyer. Most said they liked his strict Constitutional interpretation of the issues. However, others angrily warned that he would split the conservative vote, with a few even speculating that he was part of a progressive conspiracy.
Snitker addressed the split-the-vote issue by saying, “The two-party political class has gotten us to where we are today. If my opponents are concerned about splitting the vote, I suggest they do what is best for the country and drop out of the race.”
While most pundits give him only the slimmest chance of victory in November, Snitker says don’t count him out just yet. “I’m in this to win.”