Ever since Lawton Chiles embarked on a 1,003 mile walk across Florida and ultimately became the state's Senator in an upset victory, some candidates in the state have had a habit for folksy campaign stunts. There was Bob Graham's working days, Kendrick Meek's successful bid to become the first senate candidate to qualify for the ballot by a signature drive, and there was even a guy traveling the state on a tractor earlier this year to get a nomination for agriculture commissioner. Now we have Democrat CFO candidate Loranne Ausley. She plans to bike 400 miles to get some attention from her opponent Jeff Atwater (and ultimately the media and you).
If Chiles was "Walkin' Lawton," call her "Bike Lane Loranne."
According to the few polls taken in the race, Atwater, the current state Senate president, is up in the polls. He's refused to debate Ausley. So now she'll bike 400 miles from her hometown of Tallahassee all the way to Atwater's office in North Palm Beach. Once there she'll demand a debate.
Ausley, if you're wondering, is not only an experienced public official but also an experienced triathlete.
The trek will take four days, or approximately half the time until the election roles around on November 2.
Ausley is a former state Representative, and has worked in the administrations of both Graham and Lawton.
Democrats currently hold the CFO office, but the current CFO, Alex Sink, is running for Governor.
Newspapers have called the race a battle of the unknowns despite the power of the position.
The few polls taken in the race give Atwater the advantage, but both candidates have little name recognition and many voters are still undecided.
So while Ausley's trek is officially meant as a challenge to get Atwater to debate, ultimately what she stands to gain is more media coverage and hopefully a higher profile going into the final days of the campaign.