U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho can add another title to his resume: Vampire Slayer.
Yoho won a decisive victory — by 73 to 23 percent — in Tuesday’s GOP primary for re-election to Florida’s Third Congressional District, where he put a (figurative) stake through the heart of attorney Jake Rush’s political aspirations.
Yoho faces Democratic candidate Marihelen Wheeler and term limits activist Howard Wheeler, who is running with no party affiliation, in the general election.
Rush, a former Alachua County sheriff’s deputy, initially entered the race as the “ultimate conservative straight shooter.”
“Voters in North Central Florida are tired of being disappointed and embarrassed by their congressman,” according to the March 20 statement announcing Rush’s candidacy.
It didn’t stay that way.
In April, SaintPetersBlog broke the news that Rush was also involved in a group called Mind’s Eye Society, otherwise known as “Camarilla,” a vampire-themed role-playing troupe, where he would assume the identity of several characters, such as Chazz Darling, Staas van der Winst and Archbishop Kettering.
Although Rush described the role-playing as “improv,” a number of online conversations with other players were sexually explicit and violent. Rush attempted to remove many of the most outrageous images, including those with names like Chazz bloodyface sm.jpg, NERE Chazz v Maleficent cropped.jpg and Put on my rape face.jpg.
“I had scrubbed as much as I could Google of myself, just because it’s a little embarrassing, and I didn’t want it to overshadow my campaign,” Rush admitted to the Gainesville Sun. “I didn’t want this to happen, basically.”
Yoho, a conservative favorite who was swept into office in a growing Tea Party wave of 2012, sent CD 3 voters a mid-August mailer questioning Rush’s Christian values, in light of his extracurricular activities.
Although Rush maintained throughout the campaign that he is a true conservative compared to Yoho, local Tea Party groups issued a statement denying any support. The statement responded to comments Rush made on the campaign trail claiming support of local tea parties.
The statement called Rush “the vampire of the Tea Party.”
Yoho will face Wheeler and No-Party-Affiliation candidate Howard “Term Limits” Lawson in the Nov. 4 general election.