Stephen Shives, 2A advocate, running for Gunshine State House

Stephen Shives, 2A advocate, running for Gunshine State House

Having people running in political races who wear their philosophies on their sleeve is hard to come by. All too often we’re greeted with saccharine and canned responses to questions about liberty from candidates, relying on what they’ve been told they need to say. Meet Stephen Shives. A life-time entrepreneur, who stepped up to the plate to run for State Representative in Florida’s LD 27, where a vacancy is going to open up due to the current member terming out. What I love about Shives is he unapologetically makes known his philosophies on trigger issues such as religion, being a conservative, and the Second Amendment.


I met Shives in 2021 at a Florida Carry speakers event. The host of the event was scrambling after his original venue backed out due to pressure. Kevin Sona, the organizer, reached out to Shives and asked if he’d host the group so they could have their event on Shives’ property. Without hesitation, Shives said, “Yes.” Sona pressed Shives, making sure he knew that there could be some fallout for him publicly supporting the group.

Shives did not shy away from any possible controversy and told Sona, “I don’t care because you know…I’ve always thought that any publicity is good publicity.” Sona doubled down on making sure Shives knew what was on the line and his response is one that we all deserve from politicians.

“Yeah, man, let’s do this thing because people need to know what we stand for. I’m very out and open about my religious beliefs in my business. And over the years, I’ve often [got] a lot of negative feedback from people over that. My response to people has always been, ‘Would you rather do business with someone that hides what they truly believe? Or would you want to do business with someone, or choose not to do business with someone, because they’re very open about what they believe in [and] stand for?’ So, that’s my take on [supporting] the Second Amendment, a stance that we put out there as well.” – Stephen Shives on being honest with customers and potential constituents


When Shives talked about Sona warning him about getting potential hate mail, we both chuckled at the same time. I had to call him out about one particular voicemail his office received after he announced he was hosting the 2021 event. Shives said:

Oh, my goodness, we’ve laughed so many times. Because we came into the office one day and had this, this phone call from a potential customer that just really just reemed us a new one. She said “How dare you? How dare you hold this gun rally on your property and promote it through your business? How dare you with all the gun violence in this country do such a thing?” So we never heard that from that individual ever again. It was definitely a testament to when you take a stand for something you believe in there are going to be people that’ll be just as vocal in the opposite direction. It’s just a fact of life.

I told Shives that kind of declaration from an over-caffeinated mochaccino wielding Karen is a badge of honor. Something to be proud of, for sure, and he did agree to let us share the message with readers. So if you want a good laugh, you can catch that message HERE or in the embed below.


Shives talked to me about his days as a youth, when he was given a .22 caliber rifle at the age of twelve. He reminisced about how he used to go after school to a lime rock quarry and go plinking. Shives said his father taught him how to handle the rifle and told him to “be careful” with it. “The Second Amendment is like, one of the…one of the most important things to me. And so, for me, I got excited about it,” Shives said of the right.


When I reached out to Shives back in 2021 for comment for my after-action report on the event, his comment was consistent then, as a non-political candidate, in comparison with his messaging today, “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work together with people that stand for the rights and values that have made this nation great.”

One of the things we discussed had to do with what I’d call American rugged individualism. Shives has been the owner operator of Runaway Campers for the last 10 years. I asked him what his line of work was prior to that. Shives explained to me that he’s been in business for himself since he was a 16-year-old. I remember reading somewhere that he had built his home, and I prodded the GOP candidate. He gently corrected me noting, “I have built seven or eight homes and several business buildings. Everything I’ve done…all the construction myself. All [the] contracting involved.”

He doesn’t shy away from his background, something he’s vocal about, but with humility. During our conversation he told me that he doesn’t have any fancy degrees or accolades to bring to the table. Just old fashioned experience and a whole lot of common sense. His under construction homepage parrots that sentiment as well:

I’m Stephen Shives, and I am a candidate for Florida State Representative, House District 27.

It is no secret our government needs help; and we need leadership with integrity; good morals; and common sense. I am not a politician. I’m not coming into this race standing on college degrees and polished speeches; I bring my experience as a man that has stayed the course in marriage for over 37 years and a father of two respectable grown children. I maintain a completely debt-free lifestyle; and I’ve built a nationwide business out of my backyard, from $300 and some scrap materials.


Shives is a conservative, Second Amendment supporting individual, and is quite humble. When I asked him about why he’s running, he told me that he was approached by others with the notion of throwing his hat in the ring. Politics was something that Shives said he’d never get involved in for himself. He was debating the answer to the question on whether or not he’d take on the responsibility to run and said, “If I don’t respond to the question…when somebody asked me if I will do it, and I don’t respond with ‘yes,’ then who is?” He continued, “And, you know, it’s not the kind of thing I would ever just take on myself and decide I’m gonna do this. But the fact that I was asked, by enough people that respect me and feel like I’d do a good job, that was enough to turn the table.”

While his district, LD 27, makes up about three counties, all of which lean conservative, there is still a race for him. The primaries are next year and since Shives has little experience in politics, he saw the value in starting early. To date, there’s one other candidate eyeing the GOP nomination who entered the race about three weeks ago.

Before hanging up with Shives, I asked him what’s his message, and what would he want voters to know about him?

“I’m a conservative business owner. I’ve lived in our community for over 40 years and grew up here. I’ve got a wife and family, we’ve been married 37 years, and [we have] two grown adult children that I couldn’t be more proud of. We have a business that continues to grow…and that’s the experience that I’m taking to represent the people of our community – In our camp. I don’t have political experience as far as being a politician. I don’t have a college degree and all the fancy speeches to back it up. But I have a whole lot of common sense, and I will stand on my conservative values. 100%” – Stephen Shives on entering politics


It’s exciting and refreshing to talk to a political candidate and actually feel like they’re telling the truth. Maybe it’s different, because I had an opportunity to meet Shives a few years back, and visit his business. What I can say about comparing the Shives I met in 2021 to the Shives I spoke to yesterday, is that he sure does seem to be the same guy, with the same unapologetic views on conservative values and the Second Amendment. The only difference I’m seeing is that the man once hell bent on not entering politics is, because he answered the call to serve.

I’ll be following Stephen Shives for LD 27 of the Florida House and report back with how his journey goes. In the meantime, you can read more about him over at his homepage HERE. The site is under construction and will eventually redirect to another site dedicated to his campaign, but it’ll get you to some more information on GOP candidate Shives. Shives’ campaign is also on Facebook, check him out and toss him some likes.

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