The presidential ballot is set in Florida as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will battle for the Sunshine State’s 29 electoral college votes in November. Florida is, once again, expected to be the largest swing state on the map.
Trump and Clinton of course made the ballot in Florida. So did former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson who is, once again, the Libertarian presidential candidate. Johnson will be joined by another minor party candidate from 2012 as Green Party nominee Jill Stein will return to the Florida ballot.
Tennessee attorney and Marines veteran Darrell Castle is also on the Florida ballot. Castle had been the running mate of Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin back in 2008. At the time, Baldwin was a pastor based in the Florida Panhandle but he moved to Idaho after the 2008 election. After falling short against former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode to be the party’s nominee last time out, Castle is the Constitution Party’s candidate this year and will be on the ballot in Florida.
Some voters in Florida will be pardoned if they experience a little bit of deja vu. Businessman Rocky De La Fuente pulled 5 percent in last week’s Democratic primary in the U.S. Senate place, putting him in fourth behind Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson and Pam Keith. Earlier in August, De La Fuente beat out Florida based historian and political activist Darcy Richardson to be the Reform Party’s nominee. The Reform Party has, over the years, nominated some prominent leaders including Ross Perot in 1996, Pat Buchanan in 2000 and Ralph Nader in 2004 but they have grown less prominent in the past two election cycles.
Six write-in presidential hopefuls will be recognized in Florida: Andrew Basiago, Richard Duncan, Cherunda Fox, Zoltan Gyurko, Laurence Kotlikoff and Tony Valdvivia.
One of the more prominent minor party candidates did not make the cut in Florida. Evan McMullin, a former CIA operative and Republican congressional aide who is trying to appeal to anti-Trump Republicans, was not nominated by any of the minor parties in the Sunshine State.
At Ballot Access News, Richard Winger, one of the nation’s chief experts on how minor parties and independent candidates can make the ballot, noted that McMullin would not be on the ballot in November.
“Florida has several ballot-qualified parties that have not nominated anyone for president,” Winger wrote on Wednesday. “It had been thought plausible that either the Independent Party, or the Independence Party, might nominate him for president. But the Florida Secretary of State’s office said neither of those parties nominated anyone for president.”
Several candidates were removed from the final ballot including Gloria LaRiva from the Party of Socialism and Liberation and conservative Tom Hoefling, back again as the candidate of America's Party which ran Alan Keyes back in 2008.