A genuine wildcard has been added into the mix of possible contenders for Florida’s Congressional District 13, the seat long held by C.W. Bill Young now up for grabs in 2014 after Young announced his retirement earlier this week.
Ubiquitous TV pitchman Anthony Sullivan — yes, the face of “OxiClean” and the “Smart Mop” — says he has been bitten by the political bug and is interested in running for Young’s seat.
“The last year has been a wonderful learning experience,” said Sullivan, referring to his involvement in the effort to build the controversial “The Lens” design for a new St. Petersburg Pier. “What I’ve learned is that the people are yearning for new leaders with a different style of leadership.”
Continued Sullivan, “In the last 48 hours, several people have approached me — people I respect and from all walks of life — and said, ‘Sully, you need to run.’ “
“So, in the coming weeks, I will take a hard look at running for Mr. Young’s seat in Congress,” said Sullivan, who recently purchased a home in the northeast section of St. Pete.
Sullivan’s entrance into the race, likely as a Democrat, but perhaps as an Independent, would certainly be interesting, especially since Sullivan can self-finance his campaign. You also have to figure that his name ID, or at least his face ID, is well ahead of other candidates like Democrat Jessica Ehrlich.
If Sullivan does decide to run AND he surrounds himself with a capable team of advisers and staff, he could be a factor.
After creating the “SmartMop” in the early 90s, Sullivan went on to “pitch” multiple products on the Home Shopping Network, eventually becoming their primetime network host. He subsequently formed his own company, and has also appeared on various reality shows.