The Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Adrian Wyllie of Palm Harbor, reached across the Pinellas County line for a running mate: Greg Roe, a 58-year-old Pasco County insurance executive.
Wyllie introduced Roe Monday on the second Tampa Bay stop of his statewide 30-city tour of craft breweries, at Wild Rover Pub and Brewery in Odessa. In a statement from his campaign, Wyllie said he picked Roe partly because of his insurance background and that "property, flood and especially health insurance" will continue to be major issues in the years ahead.
Roe was a registered Republican until July 8, 2013, when he became a Libertarian. When the Times/Herald asked the Pasco elections office for a copy of Roe's voter history, the timing of Roe's switch caught the eye of Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley, who recalled the Legislature's passage in 2011 of the so-called 365-day provision (the law that blocked ex-Republican Sen. Nancy Argenziano from running for Congress as a Democrat in 2012).
Under that provision, a candidate cannot qualify for office if he switched his party affiliation less than one year before qualifying. Corley asked the state for an opinion and the Division of Elections said Roe appears to be in the clear because he hasn't yet filed qualifying papers as a candidate for lieutenant governor. The standard week-long qualifying period was in June, but the deadline for qualifying for lieutenant governor is much later: 5 p.m. on Sept. 4.
"I don't see a problem," assistant state elections chief Gary Holland told Corley in an email, "but someone may challenge him in court to see if he would have had to meet the requirement before the beginning of the June qualifying period."
A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Wyllie the favored candidate for governor by 9 percent of voters in a three-way race against Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist, both of whom received low marks for trustworthiness from voters in the same poll.