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Mitch Kates loses his shit

in Peter by

Is anyone else beginning to think that local Democratic political consultant Mitch Kates is, to put it succinctly, losing his shit?

The Bay Buzz writes today about a letter Kates wrote to Eric Forcade, a very minor Tea Party candidate who dropped out of the race to challenge incumbent Congressman Bill Young:

“…calling him ‘a coward, hypocrite and referring to Forcade, a Pinellas sheriff’s officer, as “you and your crazy 9-12ers” and “nut-ball demigod hero Glenn Beck.”

Okay, so maybe Kates is righteous in wanting to take on the Tea Party, but, still, can you think of another instance in which a candidate”s campaign manager writes a letter to another candidate to taunt them for leaving a race?

Then again, I can’t think of another campaign which would release poll numbers showing that their candidate was down “only” 15 points.  What is the headline for the press release promoting that idea: “New poll says the Charlie Justice Campaign doesn’t suck as much as you would have thought!”

What most observers of the race in FL CD-10 would also not think is that, for some reason, Kates was depending on the “Forcade Strategy” to make a difference in this election.  Kates’ disappointment with Forcade’s decision to drop out apparently stems from some gorilla math he added up showing that Forcade would siphon off enough votes from Young to push Justice into the U.S. Congress.

Sorry Mitch, that was never going to happen.

This latest stunt by Kates, a former professional wrestler, is starting to wear thin, even with some of Kates’ ideological allies.  “No one works harder for a candidate than Mitch,” said another political consultant based in Tampa Bay, “but eventually one has to start thinking that, with all of his antics, he may be a bigger negative on a campaign than what he brings to the table.”

I’ve been saying such things for over a year.  Kates’ bilking of the local Democratic Party was almost criminal. His handling of Scott Wagman’s mayoral bid was comedic, whether it be press releases about “sign monsters” stealing Wagman’s materials or Kates’ prediction that Wagman would raise $500,000 for his campaign.  This year, Kates has been pushing Tom McKone in House District 48 against a moderate Republican Kates has twice failed to beat with other candidates.

As for Kates’ role with the Charlie Justice Campaign, there’s just no telling Justice about the reality of letting Kates direct his campaign.  After all, it was Kates, in his heyday, who directed Justice to his upset win in 2006.  But, at some point very soon, if Justice is to have any shot of unseating Young, the nicest guy in local politics may very well have to jettison his campaign manager.

Otherwise, it won’t just be Kates who will have lost his shit.

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.

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