Email Insights from House candidates Joe Saunders and David Santiago

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Last week may have been a hectic qualifying week (at least for a few candidates), but as the dust settles, a number of state lawmakers were rewarded with uncontested returns to Tallahassee.

On the other hand, the deadline left a few incumbents facing substantial challenges — such as freshman Republican Rep. David Santiago from House District 27 and Democratic Rep Joe. Saunders in House District 49.

Now comes the email blasts, bombarding voters, hats in hand, to request just a little more campaign cash as they gear up for “fierce battles” at the November ballot box.

Saunders, who drew Republican challenger Rene “Coach P” Plasencia only 24 hours before the noon Friday qualifying deadline, wants to repeat what he calls the “powerhouse political machine” in Orlando from 2012.

Santiago, the freshman Republican lawmaker from Deltona, is looking to ramp up his effort against Democratic challenger Bob Garcia, the controversial former two-term DeBary mayor who is taking another shot in the Democratic-leaning district covering parts of Volusia County and cities of Orange City, Oak Hill and Edgewater.

Although both emails come from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two incumbents lean heavily on a similar formula. And like every good actor, each email hits it mark.

The political narrative goes as follows: Incumbent needs supporters to open wallets in a “grassroots” effort to support the “underdog,” (even though they are the incumbent) who is furiously busy getting ready to fend off an attacker. If they fail re-election (oh no!) that challenger will “turn back the clock” on all the great things the incumbent has accomplished for the good people in the “best district in the entire state.”

The names, faces and parties may change, but the basic equation remains the same — all the way through November.

Grab your checkbooks voters, it’s going to be a long summer.

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.