Throughout an interview, Wicker talks of what people tell him when he’s on their doorstep. He would know. He and five dedicated walkers are out walking the streets, door to door in District 59, every day of the week. He has about 20 people helping him do this on the weekends.
Beyond just providing that Wicker is in touch with the issues of his constituents, the strategy appears to be working. Wicker confirmed poll results that show his marks are up by 7.5% and is approaching the 33% mark in a four-way race. Here’s what Wicker has to say to SaintPetersBlog reporter Daphne Taylor Street:
Daphne Street: What are three top issues you intend to address in the House?
Joe Wicker: 1) I want Florida to gradually reduce corporate income tax so that companies can use that money to grow and create jobs, and we need to reduce regulations on small businesses. Give them a chance to succeed and grow; 2) Pensions and benefits for politicians need to be in-line with the private sector; and 3) I want to protect parents’ rights to choose the school that’s best for their children: public, private, charter or home schooling.
DS: How would you describe your leadership style and why is it effective?
JW: There is a misconception of leadership—if I’m in charge, I get to tell everyone what to do, and they have to do it. I know how to be a leader, because I know how to serve. And leadership requires honor and honesty. Politicians don’t create jobs. Never in the history of politics has a politician created a job. A job is created when an entrepreneur or business sells a product (or service) for more than it costs to produce. Nothing else creates jobs.
I am a veteran—the only vet in the race. I’m also the only businessman. It is important to know in business exactly how money is made, lost and wasted. Every evening I’m out in the community until dark with five others, talking to people, knocking on doors. I’m out with 20 people doing this on the weekends. My job as a leader is to serve, and I need to know the people to serve them.
What I hear most often on people’s doorsteps is that they just want us to stand up on principal and to serve them.
DS: Why is your community and public service important to you?
JW: I live in Riverview. In service to my nation, I moved 11 times in six years, and the place where I lived longest was in Iraq. My community is important to me because I went from living in Iraq to living in paradise, and it’s here where I met my wife. The community welcomed me with open arms. You can serve your nation and live all over the world, but it’s hard to be a part of a community. I will never be able to give back what this community has given to me—a place to call home and my wife, Amy.
DS: What sets you apart from other candidates – why should we vote for you?
JW: Brandon has a significant veteran population. I’ve met a lot of WWII vets—something you might not know if you don’t visit with them. They saved our nation. I’m coming back to serve again to help prevent us from losing it. Veterans are used to doing the job that is difficult and hard—that’s what issues are. They are challenges, and they are difficult and require hard work to solve. I think we need more vets in office. Especially on the federal level, it’s rare to find a politician who has served their country in uniform. That’s unfortunate. Vets will count the costs of the severity of decisions. I am running a positive campaign, but there are differences among us. I am the only real business person running—what I mean by that is that I oversee $20 million in operations of supply chain and distribution with buildings, people, cash flow, Private sector economic activity is occurring here. It provides me with real world experience on how money is made, lost and wasted.
DS: What does your vision of the future look like—what change will you help to make if elected?
JW: I have a vision of a government where common sense drives policy and policy means more than politics. Politicians serve as statesmen to defend individual liberties and promote hard work and success and fight evil—in a state crying out for character and leaders.
Another common thing I hear on people’s doorsteps is that they want us to use common sense, and common sense isn’t that common anymore, especially in Tallahassee. If you can be corrupted, in Tallahassee you will be. My platform has been the same for a long time. Duty, honor and country. The people need leaders who put everybody else first before themselves, showing up with a servant’s heart. People are waking up and paying attention. Change is good when it brings a fresh set of eyes.