How Robyn Blumner leaving the Tampa Bay Times impacts local elections

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Liberal lioness Robyn Blumner has written her last column for the Tampa Bay Times

On Sunday, Blumner informed readers that she is leaving the Times to return to her “roots in progressive advocacy and nonprofit administration” as the executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in Washington.

Blumner’s departure is a loss in many ways, none more important than her benevolent influence of local judicial elections.

Blumner’s presence on the editorial board, which has a disproportionate influence on judicial races (countless voters literally clip out the Times recommendations and vote for them as a slate), has forced many candidates to bring their ‘A’ game to their interviews with the Times. We’ll never know how many judge wannabes decided against running just because they knew they could not get past Blumner, the former executive director of the ACLU in Utah and, later, Florida.

In Pinellas and Pasco counties, where the local judiciary is held in high regard for its fairness and temperance, the citizenry owes Blumner a great deal of gratitude for the impact she has had on the Times‘ editorial recommendations in judicial races. 

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.