George Sheldon’s unimpressive campaign rollout

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One of the worst-kept secrets in Tallahassee has been that former DCF secretary George Sheldon would step down as assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families to challenge Pam Bondi for the Attorney General post. 

This secret first made its way into the open in August when the Tampa Bay Times reported that Sheldon was considering running. By that math, Sheldon has had at least eight weeks to plan the announcement of his campaign. 

Yet today, when rumor became fact, Sheldon laid an egg with his announcement after he decided just yesterday to accelerate the rollout of his candidacy. Sheldon simply distributed a press release to two dozen reporters, most of whom are based in Tallahassee, and that’s it.

No email. No Facebook page. No Twitter account. No video. Just that press release. 

It’s like Sheldon’s campaign thinks its 1994.

According to a source close to Sheldon’s fledgling campaign, the original plan was for Sheldon to announce closer to the end of the week when Florida Democrats will be meeting in Orlando. However, Sheldon changed course and yesterday decided to put the rollout in the hands of the Florida Democratic Party. 

“I had all along for weeks been planning for an Oct 24th or 25th announcement and suddenly yesterday it became Monday after (Sheldon talked) to the party”, my source says.

This source also says Sheldon’s website won’t be live until Friday, at best. Meaning Sheldon has no way to capture emails or raise money online for his campaign. 

Flying blind like this is no way to run a modern campaign, especially against a capable candidate like Pam Bondi. Sheldon needs to retool his efforts on the fly before he misses the opportunity to best introduce himself.

Meanwhile, this is another piss-poor candidate rollout from the Florida Democratic Party. It’s not Allie Braswell bad, but it’s not acceptable either.

Hopefully Steve Schale is noticing this and planning to keep Charlie Crist as far away as possible from the incompetence of the FDP.

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.