Some interesting notes about state House candidates and petition gathering

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In running for the state House, political consultants usually look at two important markers to gauge a candidate’s viability.  The first, and perhaps most telling marker is measured by how much money the candidate raises (assuming he or she spends it wisely.)  The second is the oft-stated, rarely measured, but all-important “ground game.”

One solid and quantifiable measure of an impressive ground game that can be measured is a candidate’s ability to make the ballot by gathering petitions from voters within the district.

As of this writing, 243 candidates have filed to run for the State House. Of those, just under 35 percent (85 candidates) attempted to qualify by petition and only 25 percent (61 candidates) actually made it.

We believe it is impressive for any candidate to gather enough petitions to make it – and kudos, congrats and woo hoo’s to all of you who did.

So who were the champions?*

There were three candidates who were clear outliers:

  • Republican Blaise Ingoglia in House District 35: 1,542
  • Democrat Linda Stewart in House District 47: 1,522
  • Democrat Kristin Jacobs in House District 96: 1,470

These three candidates not only led the way, they beat the next closest candidate (David Santiago in HD 27) by nearly 200 petitions.

Lest anyone think that these candidates are “merely” grassroots candidates; Ingoglia and Jacobs are both far ahead of their opponents in fundraising efforts:

  • Ingoglia has literally outraised his all of his opponents combined by an impressive margin of about 100:1.
  • Kristin Jacobs has also dramatically outpaced her opponent (former Palm Beach state Representative Steve Perman who lost his seat 57% to 43%) by a margin of 2.5 to 1 in this Broward seat.
  • Stewart is in a dogfight and while she has raised over $60,000, one of her GOP opponents has outpaced her in that category.

Congratulations to all of those candidates who made it and a special shout out to incoming Speaker Steve Crisafulli for taking nothing for granted back home (thank you, John Renke) as he gathered over 1,100 petitions.

We also offer a heartfelt “close, but no cigar” tip of the hat to those four incumbents (not named here – you know who you are) who made a valiant attempt and fell short – yes, service during session has a price – but thank you for trying anyway.

*We can never now exactly how many petitions each candidate actually gathered as these numbers are the ones reported by their respective counties. Sincere apologies to anyone who gathered more but whose petitions were not recorded by your Supervisor.

Copy of House Petition #s verified 2014

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.