If you live in Volusia County, you may have met Joseph “Joe” Hannoush over the past two years. A friendly guy who was willing to stand in the rain, dodge thunderstorms and sweat in the Florida sun so that you don’t have to endure a two-dimensional ticket this November.
Hannoush, 38, is the Libertarian Candidate for Florida State House District 25, and he’ll be on the ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6. He’s the alternative candidate.
DONATE: To Joe Hannoush’s Campaign
Hannoush started collecting petitions to make a point — he would get on the general election ballot through hard work. Instead of just paying the filing fee, as his Republican opponent did, he would earn his way onto the ballot by gathering the 1,247 qualified petitions needed to bypass the fee. He gathered more than 1,500, and 1,255 qualified.
FACTS, BACKGROUND, LINKS: Joe’s Resume
After declaring at a Libertarian regional coalition meeting in April 2017 that he had the intention of running, he began that petition drive — usually working by himself. If you followed Joe’s campaign page on social media, it never seemed a day went by for a year without Joe being at a local library or county office, adding to the stack.
“People began seeing that, and started to help out,” Joe said. “It was a snowball effect … Sometimes it was cold, or rainy. I’d just find a spot where I could stand and stay dry and away from the wind.”
JOE’S STANCE ON THE ISSUES?: Campaign Page
That effort he put into grinding through the Florida elements just to make the ballot is the same effort he swears he’d put into representing residents of Volusia County in Tallahassee. As a Libertarian, Hannoush has issue stances that will resonate with both Democrats and Republicans. While Americans continue to get louder about having a “down the middle” type of candidate, that’s exactly what Hannoush thinks he is.
“I didn’t know that I was a Libertarian until 2011 when I took a political quiz at a site called ISideWith.com,” Joe said. “So I went on the site and it asked me a bunch of questions, and it asks you how passionate are you about certain issues, how much it matters to you. It comes out with a percentage. It was leading up to the 2012 election and it said I was 86 percent in agreement with the Libertarian candidate for President at that time — Gary Johnson.”
LISTEN: Joe On The Marc Bernier Show
The quiz read Joe well. A Christian family that fled Iraq before Joe was born in 1978 — when Saddam Hussein fell into power — the Hannoushes have flourished in the United States. After first coming to Illinois and later to Jacksonville, Fla., the family moved to eastern Volusia County 15+ years ago.
They opened NE Cleaners and now have three dry cleaning stores in Volusia County — two in Ormond Beach and one in Port Orange. When his parents left Iraq, they came to the United States to get away from oppression — asking only for the opportunity to flourish and to be left alone.
In Joe’s estimation, his parents — in many ways — are also libertarians. And it is that philosophy — to lessen government’s grip and always defend individual liberties — that Joe says he would take to the State House.
BALLOTPEDIA: Joe Hannoush Page
No, he hasn’t run for office before. No, he hasn’t piled up $200,000 like his Republican counterpart.
“I actually think not running for office before is a good thing,” Joe said. “I actually think being just an average Joe is a good thing, and that’s what I call myself. I’m one of the people. I will keep fighting for individual liberties.
“We rule our own lives, I would never be swayed by lobbyists or any other big money influence. I’m going to vote the way a regular person would want me to vote.”
EMAIL JOE: JoeHannoush@gmail.com