Lusi once counted himself among the disenchanted: he cast his 2008 presidential ballot for Dugout Dick, an acquaintance from his Idaho cave-dwelling days.

But two years later, he's more engaged. He's put his own name up for governor — and he doesn't consider himself a fringe candidate. "We are not trying to send a message," he states firmly. "The design of the campaign is to win." He calls the roughly one-third of Rhode Island voters who still hadn't picked a gubernatorial candidate deep into the campaign "my guys" and gets excited at every climb in the polls, no matter how nominal. When he received news that he recently polled at .7%, he responded by saying, "Last time it was .1%! At this rate, I'm gonna win the thing!"

On a chilly October evening, Joe grills ribeye steaks on the open fire stove in his living room. With his shirt off and a glass of wine in his hand, he discusses a recent troubling interview with a reporter who accused him of being too "far out." Turning the steaks with his bare hands, he tells a friend what he told the interviewer. "You might say I'm far out. Well, the only solution is far out."

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