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Libertarian Rob Lapham enters CD 2 race

Libertarian Rob Lapham has joined Florida’s 2nd Congressional District campaign to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham.

Lapham, who has lived in Alaska and Texas in recent years, served on the Texas Libertarian Executive Committee. He ran for Congress in 2014, where he promised to abolish the IRS, cut military funding, and liberalize federal drug laws.

Lapham moved to Florida with his wife in 2015 and soon after helped establish a Libertarian group in Gulf County.

Though he received less than 2 percent of the vote when he ran in 2014, “I expect to get a better result this time,” Lapham told the Tallahassee Democrat. “It’s an uphill climb, but if you believe in your platform then you should run.”

Lapham joins four Republicans — former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia, former Scott administration attorney Mary Thomas, Panama City urologist Neal Dunn, and Fort White businessman Jeff Moran — in the newly redrawn seat, now one of the state’s most red.

So far, no Democrat has filed to replace Graham, though moderate state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda has been bandied about as a possible last-minute entrant.

Given the great ongoing Republican and Democratic crack-ups driven by contentious primaries, 2016 was supposed to be the year the Libertarian Party finally broke through.

So far it remains to be seen.

Written By

Ryan Ray covers politics and public policy in North Florida and across the state. He has also worked as a legislative researcher and political campaign staffer. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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