Former Crist spox Erin Isaac surfaces in CD 19 special election

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Erin Isaac, the talented but mercurial former spokesperson to then-Governor Charlie Crist, has re-emerged in Florida politics as part of Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto’s campaign in the special election in Congressional District 19.

Isaac’s name was listed as the point of contact on a press release sent March 5 by the Benacquisto campaign touting the endorsement of former state Representative Gary Aubuchon. Unless you are following the Southwest Florida congressional race, you may not have noticed Isaac’s return to Florida politics. However, the release did catch the eye of Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo, who tweeted, “Dunno what’s more interesting: Gary Aubuchon endorses Lizbeth Benacquisto in CD19? Or that Erin Isaac sent out press release.”

Isaac’s involvement is interesting because, well, she’s often evoked strong opinions — good and bad — from reporters and her colleagues in the public relations industry.

“I have no understanding why anyone would hire her again. Seriously.” was the private reaction of one respected Tallahassee pr flak.

However, the man responsible for hiring Isaac on to the Benacquisto campaign makes no bones about his decision.

“Erin is a smart communication pro,” said Brian Hughes of Go Meteoric Strategies. “We are pleased she has joined to be on the ground full-time, sharing Lizbeth’s positive vision to fix Washington.”

Isaac’s re-emergence in Florida politics comes after a sojourn to Connecticut to work on the campaign of Linda McMahon. That ended with Isaac and McMahon parting ways following a series of press accounts that McMahon’s 2012 campaign was “off script.”

Previous to working on McMahon’s campaign, Isaac was involved in a losing mayoral campaign in Jacksonville. She also played a leadership role in the inauguration proceedings of Governor Rick Scott.

In November of 2009, Crist fired Isaac after a spate of bad press, including imbroglios that Crist denied he knew that President Obama was visiting troops in Jacksonville, and then denied he ever “endorsed” the president’s economic stimulus package despite campaigning with Obama for its passage in Fort Myers.

In early 2010, Isaac’s home in Tallahassee burned to the ground. Arson was suspected in the incident, but never proven.

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.