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Bill Foster’s blunders in the black community continue as campaign hires former Cappelli, Gibbons aide Nick Hansen to run black GOTV

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by

It is probably the shortest post ever written on the St. Petersburg Times’ Bay Buzz: “Bill Foster opens a campaign office in Midtown”. It’s located in the shopping center at 2261 34th Street S.

This news comes on the heels of several miscues by Bill Foster’s campaign in its outreach to the African-American community, such as the recent incident in which Foster “hurt some people’s feeling when he turned down an offer last week to take a photo with Davis, Gordon and a handful of other leaders in the black community, some of whom worked or previously worked for the city’s police department.”

Foster should be winning the African-African vote by a two-to-one margin, esepcially considering Kathleen Ford’s history with that community. But if you ask any of the leading black leaders for their take on the race, they’ll tell you that Foster is in danger of losing the black vote to Ford. Without the black vote, it is doubtful Foster can win the election.

So what is Foster doing to shore up his support in the African-American community? He’s sending in the whitest piece of political Wonderbread, Nick Hansen, to man his Midtown office.

That’s right, that Nick Hansen. Oh(!) and three Nick Hansen. Former aide to Angelo Cappelli Nick Hansen. Field organizer to Mitt Romney Nick Hansen. Campaign manager for Deveron Gibbon’s failed bid for St. Petersburg Nick Hansen.

This is a guy who once wrote his mother into a mailpiece saying she endorsed one of his clients. I wouldn’t hire him to be my latex salesman.

I’ve wondered why Nick and his real boss, Deveron, have been lurking around the campaign trail and now I know why.

But does Bill Foster know that Deveron Gibbons does not think he can win, and that Deveron probably loaned Nick to Foster’s campaign to sabotage Foster’s efforts. Gibbons actually came up to me two weeks ago, at Shackleton’s Folly and, after he admitted I destroyed his campaign (no kidding!), said he wants to see Kathleen Ford win so that he can run again in 2013.

What better way would there be for Gibbons to insure a Foster loss than by pawning off a campaign operative with a worse win-loss record than Raheem Morris?

A very prominent opinion-maker recently asked me if I agreed with his contention that it had been Bill Foster’s race to lose and that, in fact, he was losing.

I would like to argue not, but with Foster’s hiring of Nick Hansen, I might have to reconsider.

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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