Sunday, March 20, 2011

RRH Exclusive: Jimmy Wales Considering Run For US Senate

Originally published in Red Racing Horses.

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An effort to draft Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to run for US Senate in Florida as a Republican is underway on Facebook. At 379 'likes,' at first glance, the effort seems like it has gathered little steam. However, a recent tweetbomb by supporters unearthed results:  Wales retweeted a message asking,
@jimmy_wales would you consider running for the Senate? FL needs a better supporter of liberty than Bill Nelson! Jimmy Wales for Senate!
This is not his first flirtation with a Senate campaign. In January Wales himself tweeted,
Should I run for the Senate to sort these idiots out?
It appears that Wales has at least entertained the prospect of a bid. Today I spoke with the organizer of the draft movement, who informed me that he has been in direct contact with Wales. The organizer, who does not represent Wales, claims that the potential candidate "hasn't made a choice one way or the other."

A candidacy by Wales would be interesting- with the ability to self-fund, an expensive Republican primary would not be a problem (former State Senate President Mike Haridopolos has already raised over $1 million and Representative Connie Mack has the name and connections to quickly catch up).
Politically, Wales describes himself as "center-right", but he has many libertarian tendencies that might leave him splitting votes with the libertarianish Mack and Mike Haridopolos, who has connections to the Florida Republican Liberty Caucus.

If Wales did escape a primary, he would face incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in the general election. Other Republicans speculated to run for the seat include former State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and former Senator George Lemieux.

You can also check out an associated draft website for Jimmy Wales here.

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