Email insights: A turning point in the nasty House District 61 race

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In an email to supporters, Democratic hopeful Ed Narain laments the end of the “clean race” for state House District 61 once promised by his opponent – Tampa attorney Sean Shaw.

“Paid operatives have stolen signs, intimidated my supporters, and leveled false accusations against me,” Narain says, capping the list off with a campaign mailer sent by Shaw, which raises doubts about Narain’s “Democratic values.”

Shaw’s mailer highlights support Narain received from “Republican lobbyists,” going as far as calling Narain a “Rick Scott Republican” and that a vote for him will just be “more of the same.”

That goes too far, says Narain, who refuses to be “swift boated” in the HD 61 campaign.

“Too much is at stake – for me to stand idly by while your hard work and support are dishonored,” the mail goes. “So, I’m going to start telling the truth.”

A fine sentiment, to be sure.

However, saying to supporters you will “start telling the truth,” implies you may not have been doing so before. Just saying.

“There is a clear choice in this race,” Narain says. “You can vote for someone who has spent his entire adult life trying to improve our community, or you can choose someone who spent his entire adult life trying to improve his political status.”

A former state insurance consumer advocate, Shaw portrays himself as pro-consumer while pinning on Narain the label of “big business,” not exactly one that would go over well with district residents.

In the face of Shaw’s attacks, Narain remains resolute.

Voters in Tampa are much smarter than he is giving them credit for,” he says. “Twenty years of service will not be beaten by 20 months of pretending.”

Regardless of which side voters stand, there is one thing the heated rhetoric of the past few days proves: the District 61 race has reached a turning point. And this battle of words will only get hotter on the lead up to Aug. 26.

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.