BROOKSVILLE — In 2008, Brian Moore ran for president of the United States representing the Socialist Party. Two years later, he ran as a Democrat in the Florida gubernatorial race against Alex Sink.
This year, Moore has his sights on a smaller stage that he says is no less important. On Thursday he submitted papers to run for county commissioner, representing District 2.
He is running on the no-party affiliation ticket against incumbent Republican Wayne Dukes and Democrat Jimmy Lodato.
There’s one caveat: If he cannot raise the required $2,503 filing fee by Friday’s deadline, he said, he will withdraw. Moore said he plans a fund-raising blitz and is confident he can reach the goal.
The Spring Hill resident said he could have filed earlier and qualified by collecting voters’ signatures, but he only recently was spurred to run by infuriating actions of the county commission.
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he said Friday.
Moore is a longtime activist known for holding protests on everything from the use of military drones and unjust wars to errant government spending and offshore oil drilling.
He has not been shy in criticizing politicians of any party on the local, state and national stages. He also chaired the Nature Coast Coalition for Peace and Justice.
Moore said county commissioners have caved in to special interests by throwing money into projects taxpayers neither want nor can afford.
That includes $3 million in matching funds for a tourism-educational center on the Weekiwachee Preserve that is not needed, he said.
He also is unhappy that the school board partnered with the county on a Penny For Projects one-cent sales tax.
Moore said county commissioners were “blackmailed” by the business community in agreeing to extend a moratorium on impact fees, which he said has a crippling effect on school board projects.
Moore said one reason he chose to run as an NPA candidate is because the filing fee is less costly.
If county commissioners running as Democrats or Republicans want to forego the petition method they must shell out $3,755, which represents 6 percent of the job’s $62,579 annual salary.
If a candidate chooses to run as an independent candidate or opts for no party affiliation, the fee is $2,503.16, or 4 percent of the annual salary.
Moore said he expects his NPA label to be an issue in the election but that his fiscal conservative ideals will resonate with registered Republicans and Democrats.
And, he said, he still espouses socialist ideas.
He is vice-chair of the Peace and Freedom Party of Florida, which he calls a “sister socialist party” of an organization based in California.
“It’s late, but these guys (Dukes and Lodato) need to be challenged,” Moore said. “I’m not happy with the candidates. I’m not happy with the commission.
“I’m not happy with the direction of the county.”
Lodato said he welcomes the competition and believes Moore will “liven up the debates.”
“Everyone has a right to get in the race and the people have to make a decision as to who is going to run that office,” Lodato said.
Dukes could not be reached for comment.