OFF KEY LARGO (CBSMiami) – With the eyes of the nation on South Florida for the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, a little farther south, some divers in the Florida Keys carved pumpkins portraying candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during an offbeat event in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Sunday’s Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest attracted 42 divers who either participated or watched the wacky competition. Some divers wore costumes.

Cat Rambo of Miami Beach chose to create a Mitt Romney pumpkin.

“I decided to carve Mitt Romney because of the debates and all the other fervor surrounding the elections,” Rambo said. “I think it’s on everyone’s mind right now.”

The debates also inspired Miami’s Manuel Garcia to create a President Barack Obama pumpkin.

“We have both Mitt Romney and Obama pumpkins, but we don’t want to declare any winners here today,” said contest organizer Amy Slate, owner of the Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo. “We’re gonna leave that to the debates and to the election.”

klp03web Presidential Pumpkins Carved Underwater In The Keys

Jana Vandelaar, left, and her daughter Jacqueline Vandelaar, right, show off their Snoopy jack-o-lantern created with a vote message at the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Key Largo residents Jana Vandelaar and her daughter Jacqueline accessorized their pumpkin with the head, arms and legs of cartoon character Snoopy. Carved in the body was the message “Vote.”


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