• One of a Kind Candidate: Rodney P. Smithley, Manatee County, FL

    manateeSometimes a man wakes up and decides to run for office. Sometimes, that man then waits nearly three decades before he actually runs for office. After thinking it over for a bit, Rodney P. Smithley is ready to be the next Elections Supervisor of Manatee County, Florida.

    The elections supervisor seat was locked up for ages by Bob Sweat, who held the position for 28 years. Twenty-eight years! Show me a man who enjoys observing elections, and I'll show you Bob Sweat. But when Sweat announced his retirement, Smithley pounced, making his bid for the position just one day later, after having contemplated the move since Sweat's tenure began.

    Smithley is not a career politician. He owns Smokey's Mirrors & Glass, an installation and repair company, and he brings a vigorous work ethic to his campaign. "I don't do anything half-butt," Smithley told the Bradenton Herald.

    And now, he's got competition. A week after Smithley entered the race, former County Commissioner Jane Von Hahmann threw her hat into the ring. It's only January, but the Elections Supervisor race is heating up in the already pleasantly warm Manatee County.

    Whoever wins will inherit a position steeped in political history. Manatee County — along with the rest of Florida — was involved in a controversial presidential election that you may remember, circa 2000. (Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Al Gore were unavailable for comment.)

    Photo by Stephen Frink/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Smithley a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.

    Tags: Florida, One of a Kind Candidates