Caught in political vortex, Rachel Burgin releases a pretty weak TV spot

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On a day when two more Republican heavyweights endorsed her opponent in a Senate race that has turned ugly and personal, Rachel Burgin has released a pretty weak TV spot.

Ending with a photo of Burgin with Senator Marco Rubio (who has not endorsed her), the :30 spot says “the insiders in Tallahassee don’t want me to win.”

Actually, it’s more like one set of insiders in Tallahassee doesn’t want her to win, while a second set, which includes uber-lobbyists Ron Book, Jack Cory and Guy Spearman, do want her to win.

With production values barely exceeding a PowerPoint presentation set to music, this commercial is disappointingly weak.

Burgin’s campaign needed to do better on a day when Lee, a former Senate president from Brandon who is looking to return to the Legislature, received the endorsements of Sens. John Thrasher and Joe Negron in his quest to become the GOP nominee in District 24.

The support comes in addition to previous endorsements from incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner and Sen. Jack Latvala.

Leaders often abstain from primary skirmishes, but top Senate Republicans have decided to stand behind Lee in a race that pits him against Burgin, a two-term House member, in the GOP-dominated eastern Hillsborough County district.

Burgin said she was not surprised by the announcement, saying she has had a target on her back since the campaign began from Republican leaders who don’t agree with her conservative agenda. In the House, Burgin has been most prominent when pushing proposals to restrict abortion services.

“It is unprecedented,” Burgin said. “But I’m not overly surprised to see that the Tallahassee insiders are trying to circle their wagons.”

Material from the News Service of Florida is used in this report.

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.