Could Jim Norman have a real race on his hands?

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Florida Sen. Jim “Smooth Sailin’ ” Norman just got a real live Republican opponent, which is either cause for optimism or more of the same old cynicism.

John Korsak, a Republican Party activist who works as a homeland security consultant and lives in Lutz, is running to “restore the public’s trust in government.”

He says solving Florida’s problems takes “people of character and ethics.”

So with the news of another Republican in the race, I wondered if, glory be, we might get a Democratic choice this time.

Hillsborough Democratic Party chairman Chris Mitchell gave 50-50 odds. “Jim Norman is a target, for the record,” he said. “We hope to find a viable candidate to run against him.”

One name floating out there: Christopher Cano, 28, a former intern to state Rep. Mike Scionti who ran unsuccessfully for state House in 2010 and is working on his master’s degree in public administration. “A lot of local Democrats are upset that Norman walked into that seat,” he says. He hasn’t made any decisions.

And here’s a delicious one: Republican Kevin Ambler, the former lawmaker Norman beat last time, and the very guy who persuaded a judge to boot Norman off the ballot for not reporting that vacation home. (An appeals court later reinstated him.)

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.