State House candidate Franklin Perez to host election watch party at strip club

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Libertarians — and third party candidates in general — have a difficult time reaching out to voters in modern American politics.

Franklin Perez, Libertarian candidate for the Seminole County House District 28 does not make running on a third party platform any easier.

In November, Perez will face the winner of Tuesday’s GOP primary, which will likely be incumbent state Rep. Jason Brodeur.

Like most candidates, Perez will spend primary day at an Election Night meet-and-greet party. But his event will be a little different. Perez’s party will be from 8 p.m. at Rachel’s Gentlemen’s Club — the most luxurious strip club in Casselberry.

No, that wasn’t a misprint.

“Come and Enjoy the Company of Semi-Nude Beautiful Ladies – Eat, Drink, and be Merry,” says the event’s Yahoo! Groups invite.

Holding a campaign event at a strip club is surely beyond the norm, even for Florida. But it does make it tough to take him seriously.

It is not as if Perez is an outlier, either; like fellow gubernatorial Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie, the Oviedo resident polled relatively well for a third party candidate — even winning a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) straw poll on July 30.

In his unsuccessful 2012 run for District 28, Perez received 34% of the vote, which he claims was the most any other Libertarian received in a partisan race in Florida.

However, while most politicians would stay miles away (at least publically) from a place like Rachel’s – classy as it may be — Perez seems to embrace such a questionable tactic. The job of a candidate is to prove they will represent all constituents by broadening appeal, not narrowing it.

On the other hand, would a lap dance be considered a campaign contribution?

HD 28 covers most of eastern Seminole County including all or part of Winter Springs, Oviedo, Sanford and Casselberry.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.