John Thrasher’s opening gambit? Former Rep. Rob Wallace to challenge Sen. Jim Norman

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Former state House member Rob Wallace has announced he’ll run against state Sen. Jim Norman, citing the first-term Republicans ethical problems for why he should not be re-elected.

“The last two years have been tough for Jim Norman,” Wallace said. “He’s had to deal with the Commission on Ethics, with a grand jury and finding amendments to make him look good. I think he needs a good long rest out at the lake house.”

Wallace served in the state House representing northwest Hillsborough and northern Pinellas counties from 1994 until his 2002 term limit, reports Windy March. He owns and operates a civil and environmental engineering company.

What’s interesting is who Wallace once said was one of his political “heroes.”

After being selected to replace Norman after Norman was temporarily disqualified from the ballot in 2010, Wallace said that he got to know several current members of the Legislature, including Mike Haridopolos.

But the man Wallace said was one of his heroes? None other than John Thrasher.

In other words, less than a week after John Thrasher’s coup is put down by Andy Gardiner and Jack Latvala, an ally of Thrasher files to run against a close ally of Jack Latvala.

Remember what Thrasher said last week: “I don’t think anybody has pledges until the day they get designated,” Thrasher said. “To me, that’s what it’s about. And in a year like this, when we have a big summer of a lot of elections, a lot of things can change, seems to me.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.