Meandering through the crowd at the Mitt Romney rally in Tampa on Wednesday, Oct. 31, Clearwater resident Douglas W. DeJohn halted now and then to introduce himself to a stranger and give an exuberant speech about his mission.
Some people politely listened. Others walked away. And, on a few occasions, DeJohn was "invited" to move on by the police officers overseeing crowd control at the rally.
However, DeJohn persisted in his attempts to "spread the word." As the official spokesman for the Rastafarian Party of the United States of America, he said it's his duty to promote the party founded by the former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I.
"We're a legitimate political party," insisted DeJohn after receiving skeptical looks.
DeJohn hardly looks the part. He lacks the dreadlocks, bag-shaped hat and tie-dyed T-shirt commonly associated with Rastas such as reggae singers Bob Marley and Sam Brown.
Nevertheless, DeJohn claims the Rastafarian Party is quickly growing in the United States and is becoming a political force around the world.
"Romney is well aware of us. We fully support him," said DeJohn, adding that there are now more than a million Rastafarians around the world.
"We've decided to actively join the political struggle and create a political movement with the aim of implementing measures to uplift the poor and the oppressed," said DeJohn.
Unfortunately, DeJohn wasn't able to provide much more information. He had no business cards and he said the party has yet to launch its website.