On Judithanne McLauchlan and the Junior League of St. Petersburg

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In her latest campaign push, state Senate candidate Judithanne McLauchlan is touting her membership in the Junior League of St. Petersburg. The Junior League is an educational women’s group comprised of volunteers who work to improve communities through outreach efforts focusing on school readiness.

 Membership in the League requires four three-hour volunteer shifts at various events each year, including Mainsail and the Back to School Fair in August. It also requires attendance at monthly meetings, annual dues and a minimum of $100 worth of ticket purchases for League events.

 “I have been a member of the Junior League of St. Petersburg for the last 6 years,” the USF St. Pete professor writes in a campaign letter to members of the group. “I joined because of my interest in giving back to my community, and it is for that same reason that I decided to run for State Senate.”

 Membership in the League is a powerful bullet point on a candidate’s resume. But there may be a catch. According to a source within the Junior League, McLauchlan is not in good standing with the organization. The source, who asked not to be identified, claims McLauchlan is not current on her membership dues.

 The St. Pete women’s group would not comment on McLauchlan’s membership and would not verify or deny the claim that McLauchlan’s membership status was in disrepair.

 Our source clammed up after someone from the League called her to complain about coming forward with membership information. If McLauchlan’s claim that she is an active member of the Junior League is false, it could be a kick in the shins to her campaign against incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes (Disclosure: We think Jeff Brandes rocks).

The group’s website does not list members unless they are a member of the board of directors.

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.