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Crazy Ed Helm recruiting candidates against incumbent Democrat

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Crazy ol’ Ed Helm is up to his tricks again, this time recruiting a challenger against Democratic incumbent Darryl Rouson.  A copy of an e-mail Helm wrote attempting to coordinate the launch of April Sheffield’s campaign was forwarded to me:

Chair of Sarasota Dem. Party Ferrandino:

Mario and I met with April Sheffield yesterday at my place in St. Pete and heard the good news that she has gotten all her ducks in a row and is now ready to run (and win) the District 55 seat. I think this is good news for Democrats all over Florida, not just in District 55.

I am reminded how close the Republicans in the Florida House of Representatives are to regaining their super-majority status. I believe they are at 76 and they need 80 in order to have more than  2/3 so that they can suspend the rules and cut backroom deals whenever they want, ignoring all the Democratic legislators. When I was chair of the PCDEC in 2006, we took three seats from the Republicans (two House; one Senate) and the Republican super-majority was destroyed.

Any knowledgeable Democrat knows that we can’t trust Rouson to remain a Democrat since he has told April and others that his real intention is to switch back to being a Republican and run and beat Cathy Castor for Cong. 11. With his slippery style, it would not take much for him to do a Rudy Bradley on us and after getting elected to 55, switching to become a Republican so that the House once again has a Republican super majority.

Thus April Sheffield’s race is important not only for us in Dist. 55, but for all Democrats in Florida because as a lifelong Democrat with integrity, we can count on April not only to stay a Democrat but to stand up to Republicans and help us elect more real Democrats like her.

She will be sending her paperwork to Tallahassee today and open a campaign account by next Tuesday, Wed. at the latest. Then we begin collecting petitions for her (she needs 772 good ones) in the three key counties. I hope Pat might have some ideas for who might help with April’s Sarasota team as well as meet with us to refine April’s campaign plan and the voting target number needed to win this election.

Many thanks for meeting with us and reviewing this race and providing some objective analysis of it. I was delighted (and impressed) to see your excellent Sarasota Dem. Party HQ and Campaign office as well as your commitment to seeing Democrats run and win elections. Good work.


Ed Helm

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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