The race to replace long time Rep. Mario Diaz Ballart and represent a massive congressional district just got more interesting. The race has already been a bitter battle between two Cuban-American political heavyweights, but now two minor party candidates have jumped into the ring.
Craig Porter, a member of the Whig Party, is one of two minor party candidates in the running to represent the 25th Congressional district which covers western Miami-Dade County across the Everglades into parts of Collier County (why Collier County should be affected by Miami Dade politics is a whole other story).
While neither minor party candidate has a chance to winning a high profile race, both outsiders are hoping to shake up the political system just a little. Both candidates are hoping to take advantage of widespread voter discontent in both the government and the ruling political parties.
Voter discontent is best exemplified nationwide by the tea party movement. However even that political wave has splintered off into different groups who say they should support different parties or just create their own.
Cue the fourth candidate in the race, minor party member Roly Arrojo of the Florida Tea Party. The Miami Herald reports that Arrojo has no ties to the state tea part, and unlike Porter, has not made a website or gathered funds.
Apparently it takes very little paperwork to create a political party in Florida. University of Florida political science professor was quoted by The Miami Herald as stating that is why Florida has about 33 political parties.
Porter’s Whig Party, however, seems to have no actual ties to the Whig Party we learn about in American history classes and only has about 117 registered voters across the state. However, that has not stopped Porter from getting more attention than third party members usually do, after all there is a sort of novelty in the name.
The major candidates already have differing views on many issues including Cuba, unemployment, and the restoration of the Everglades. Why not make things a little more interesting for voters by throwing in more candidates and more opinions?
Both third party candidates have been portrayed as dead ringers for the bigger parties. For instance, Arrojo has already been criticized as being planted by Democrat Joe Garcia to take votes from Republicans. Likewise, Porter has received from criticism, claiming that he has only joined the race to peel off votes from the two leading candidates.
Either way, the minor party candidates are a living testament of public anger and how easy it is to create a political party in the state of Florida.
The Miami Herald
Naples Daily News