It’s not clear who made the bigger mistake in the race for House District 60.
Is it Democrat David Singer, who falsely claimed the endorsement of the Florida Chamber of Commerce?
Or is it the Tampa Bay Times’ Richard Danielson for reporting about the endorsement without verifying it with the Chamber?
“We have not and will not be taking a position on House District 60,” Chamber spokeswoman Edie Ousley told Danielson. “We will be remaining neutral in that race.”
(When I read in the Times that the Chamber had made an endorsement in a state House race in my neck of the woods without SaintPetersBlog breaking that news, I was surprised because I assumed SPB’s relationship with the Chamber was much stronger than Danielson’s.)
Either way, this is a major gaffe by Singer. It’s the kind of gaffe that will bring all sorts of scrutiny to his campaign at exactly the wrong moment (thousands of ballots are being mailed this week to Hillsborough voters.)
It’s also the kind of rookie mistake that plagued the campaign of Singer’s opponent, Jackie Toledo, when she ran for the Tampa City Council. It will be interesting to see if Danielson and Co. give Singer as much guff as they gave Toledo in 2015.
All of this said, don’t look for the local media, including SaintPetersBlog, to bludgeon Singer over this issue because, quite frankly, Toledo’s campaign is so press-averse.
Toledo’s non-response responses to questions from a SPB reporter recently forced me to bring up the issue with Ryan Wiggins, the campaign’s spokesperson. Wiggins told me Toledo was too busy meeting with voters to answer our reporter’s questions.
Ducking the press and (Tiger Bay appearances) is certainly Toledo’s prerogative.
Just don’t look for the media to carry your water when the story should flow your way.