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10 things I think I think about the latest poll of the St. Petersburg Mayor’s Race

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
St. Petersburg voters still have no clue about who the next mayor should be, a new St. Petersburg Times poll shows. 61% undecided. Kathleen Ford, um, leads with 10%. After Ford, Bill Foster and Deveron Gibbons each received 8 percent, followed by Larry Williams and Scott Wagman with 4 percent each. City Council member Jamie Bennett received 3 percent of the vote. Newcomer Richard Eldridge received 1 percent. Here are ten things I think I think about this poll.

1. I am laughing, rolling over laughing, at Scott Wagman. To have paid 100K (and running) for a consulting team and field operations and all you have to show for it is fifth place is making you the laughing stock of local politics. I know what it’s like to be a cautionary tale, so trust me when I say, Scott Wagman is going to be the reference for ten years of elections about rich guys trying to buy their way into politics.

2. If you are Wagman, and all you talk about is how you will run things like a business, what would you do if your business was the fifth best paint shop in town? You’d be out of business.

3. Just as soon as he was starting to make inroads with strong showings at the last two candidate forums, Jamie Bennett gets the news he didn’t want to hear. He really is going to finish 6th. And it’s only going to get worse, especially when his fundraising report is filed. No matter how much he thinks he’s cleaned it up, it’ll still open him up to at least a dozen possible election violations. Bennett needs to drop out of the race.

4. Between Wagman, Bennett and Gibbons, who have all been campaigning since the beginning of the year, and all you can pull is a combined 15%, you should all be embarrassed.

5. If Bennett continues to falter, and Foster puts his foot in his mouth, could Larry Williams emerge as the safe choice for an electorate obviously undecided and unimpressed by the new faces?

6. There’s a shiver running up the back of Rick Baker right now. He may play all cool and aloof about this race, but the prospect of Kathleen Ford winning, which is now a distinct possibility, is going to force his hand. Look for a 527 or some other 3rd party to come forward. It’s target: destroy Kathleen Ford.

7. Deveron Gibbons’ poor showing in this poll has his campaign scrambling this morning. Look for him to roll out his so-called platform immediately.

8. Every one of these campaigns needs to go back to drawing board right now. You all are failing.

9. Who will finish ahead of the others, Eldridge, Congemi, Helm or Haak?

10. Anyone that says this poll is meaningless or its too early is a complete fool. Ballots go out in three weeks. If this were a general election in November, the calendar would say October 15. Adjust accordingly.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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