Unlike his opponents in the special election to fill the late C.W. Bill Young’s District 13 Congressional seat, Lucas Overby is not tied to special interest groups, nor has he served as a lobbyist or is the recipient of millions of dollars from Washington D.C. A Pinellas County native, Overby is a Libertarian candidate who represents the citizens because he is a citizen himself.
A commercial dive supervisor, Overby attended the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg where he earned of the National Honors Society recognition and graduated Cum Laude in 2004 before studying at Florida Atlantic University and St. Petersburg College. The 27-year-old son of a commercial diver has been involved in the community since high school, working with various groups. He has served as an activist for organizations that support women’s interests, and he founded Take a District, a nonpartisan group that promotes voter education and political involvement among young adults.
“I feel that now, more than ever, this nation is suffering from the inability of our elected officials to work together and find solutions for their constituents. When you are an activist working with young and often little known causes, you learn to effectively produce results with no recourses and you do that by form coalitions and partnerships wherever you can,” Overby said. “I feel that that ability to make things work, with little care to who gets the credit, will allow me to really accomplish what needs to be done for the constituents of my district.”
Active in the Libertarian party since he learned about the movement in high school, Overby filed to pursue a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in early 2013. Passionate about grassroots initiatives, the former musician has rapidly ascended in the polls because of his campaign’s seemingly tireless approach of walking neighborhoods to meet voters, reaching out with phone calls, attending community forums and participating in every scheduled debate.
Overby is striving to make history by becoming the first Libertarian candidate to serve in Congress. He already made history when he became the first Florida Libertarian to be included in a nationally televised debate. In early February, he was chosen by Bay News 9 viewers as the overwhelming winner of the debate, which was also televised on C-SPAN3. That appearance sparked momentum for his campaign and showed prospective voters that they have a credible, articulate and respectable option to the status quo opponents in the race.
“My background obviously shows that I did not spend my entire life planning to be a politician and speaks well to those who worked hard to build families and lives here in the area,” Overby said. “Generally, voters are not used to seeing blue collar candidates, and I have been very pleased to see that they are able to see themselves in the message.
While he maintains his full-time position as a commercial diving supervisor, Overby is committed to reaching out to as many of the residents in District 13 as possible. His schedule is stocked with the aforementioned candidate forums, debates, phone calls and door-to-door visits, and he is active communicating with citizens on Facebook.
“There are actually no construction workers in Congress. Lots of lawyers, doctors, a few lobbyists though,” Overby said. “You have all these people making rules for the bricklayer. At a certain point it just seemed natural for the bricklayer to go make rules for himself.”
Overby is a third party candidate who appeals to disenfranchised voters who traditionally support Democrats and Republicans because he considers party ideals without strictly adhering to them, meaning that he is adamant about working with representatives of all parties to generate favorable results. That is what differentiates Overby from his opponents in the race.
“We’re all running on our prior experience and I am very proud to be running on mine. I offer a completely different point of view from my opponents and I think it’s a vantage point desperately needed in DC,” Overby said. “I come from a world that starts before the sun is up and ends long after it goes down. I have worked with just about every major industry in our state, every regulatory body, and learned what’s broken in our system by actually working under it.
“I talk about solutions on the campaign trail because in the private sector, you either find solutions for your clients’ problems or you find yourself out of a job,” he added. “Congress could really stand to learn a lesson from that.”