HD-1 Candidate Profile: Bill Fetke
Next up in our visits with those running for local political offices, WUWF sits down with Bill Fetke – an NPA candidate or Florida House District-1.
Bill Fetke is a native of Chicago, and moved to the Pensacola area in 2003, opening a pair of health care-related businesses in District-1 – a pediatric clinic and medical billing firm. His original interest in seeking public office began about two years ago, but gave way to focusing on his businesses.
“And then when Jeff Miller decided to retire, we decided once again to look at it,” said Fetke. “Me and my wife talked about it, we decided we were in a very good position. But we [also] decided that the U.S. House is too big of a jump. So I decided to challenge for the state House position.”
While Fetke is listed as an NPA – No Party Affiliation -- on the official candidate list of the Supervisor of Elections, he considers himself a Libertarian – which stemmed from his dissatisfaction with the Republican Party.
“But when I started looking at what I really was as a person, I did one of those ‘who do I like as a candidate best?’ And I found out that was [Libertarian presidential nominee] Gary Johnson. That was in 2012 when he ran the first time.”
But Fetke is an equal opportunity aspersion-caster. He says both the GOP and Democratic Party are falling short with the American people.
“Right now, it’s party over principle,” Fetke said. “One of the things I like running as an NPA, it gives me the opportunity to be principle over party. And really the Libertarian Party as a whole feels that way.”
Awaiting Fetke on November 8 is Clay Ingram, who’s seeking a third and final term in House District-1. There is no Democratic candidate. Fetke concedes that facing a Republican incumbent is something of a challenge.
During most campaigns in recent years – including 2016 – politicians base much of their rhetoric on the First and Second Amendments. Fetke believes in both, but his emphasis is a little further down in the Bill of Rights dealing with illegal search and seizure.
“The Fourth Amendment is something that people just really don’t pay much attention to,” said Fetke. “There’s a lot of illegal surveillance going around. People are saying, ‘Well, I have nothing to hide.’ Well, you do have something.”
Voters across Florida are also deciding Amendment-2, whether medical marijuana should be legalized. Fetke has it right on his campaign flyers – he’s in favor of legalization from a health care provider standpoint.
“With the medical marijuana, it’s more of a controlled environment, and it’s actually healthier than these opiates that people are taking.”
Another call is for the end of massive tax breaks for big corporations, which Fetke says really irritates him as a small business owner. In summing up his closing argument, Bill Fetke says he wants the job.
“I have a lot of passion for it, I’ve been out campaigning for it,” Fetke says. “I’ve been to all my debates; any candidate forum, I am there. As much as I do like Clay [Ingram] as a person, he’s not been doing this for us.”