Nina Hayden's epic #fail should serve as a cautionary tale to future candidates

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Two weeks ago, I wrote an admittedly whiny post about how three of my readers were really, really annoying me.

One of them was upset that, “this site has now published two articles inaccurately/prematurely describing Nina Hayden as off the ballot for the D13 Congressional race. She is, in fact, on the ballot after winning her appeal last Friday. I think it would be appropriate if you wrote a story acknowledging your error and rescinding your harsh comments.”

For a moment, I actually considered walking back my comments about Hayden.  Fortunately, Nina bailed me out by bouncing her qualifying check to the Division of Election, all but making moot her efforts to remain on the ballot despite not completing correctly her qualifying paperwork.

Even, if by some miracle, Hayden is able to remain on the ballot, who is going to vote for the candidate whose modus operandi seems to be ‘my dog ate my homework.’

Hayden’s inability to properly complete the basic paperwork required to run for office should end her political career.  Yes, we all make mistakes, but Hayden is an attorney, for goodness’ sake.  She should know better about dotting i’s and crossing t’s. There is simply no excuse for these snafus.

Just think, less than three years ago, Hayden was a member of the Pinellas School Board with a bright future in front of her.  Then she made the disastrous decision to run against Jack Latvala for the Florida Senate.  She lost badly.  To follow this up, she decided to challenge Bill Young.  What made Hayden think that if she couldn’t beat Latvala, she had any chance of beating Young, the only politician more influential in — and important to  — Tampa Bay?

Nina Hayden needs to take a step back, sit out a couple of election cycles, accept some humility about her political abilities and then, and only then, consider a return to local politics.

In the meantime, Hayden will serve as cautionary tale to future candidates.

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.