Jack Latvala draws last-minute Democratic challenger (who has written a NY Times bestseller)

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Sen. Jack Latvala, set in his decision to qualify in the north Pinellas District 20 seat, has drawn a last-minute Democratic challenger.

Ashley Marie Rhodes-Courter filed as a Democrat on Thursday for what can only be described in David-and-Goliath terms, that is if David had a little sister. Latvala can bring to bear hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of campaign dollars into the race, while Rhodes-Courter appears to be a political newcomer.

That said, Rhodes-Courter brings an interesting biography to this race.  In 2008, Simon and Schuster published her memoir, “Three Little Words” which quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The book has received many national and local awards, and is currently being used in classrooms all across the country.

Rhodes-Courter also hosted a television program called “Explore Adoption” which was produced by the State of Florida to raise the public’s awareness of foster children in need of loving and permanent homes. The segment won an Emmy in 2009.

As for Rhodes-Courter’s politics, not much is available other than she is tireless advocate for adoption.

Of course, this could all be for naught.  She only filed on Thursday, not qualified.  Let’s see what happens today.

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.