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Oil vote threatens incumbent in Democratic primary

in Statewide by

Two years ago, state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda sidestepped an all pro pass rusher to win a seat in the Florida House.

But now she’s battling for her political life in an August primary against a former Leon County Democratic Party chairman — in large part because of a pair of 2009 legislative votes she cast in favor of offshore oil drilling.

Challenger Rick Minor calls Vasilinda “big oil’s number one Democrat.”

Vasilinda says Minor has mischaracterized her position on energy and describes the primary campaign as nastier than in 2008 when she was elected to the Legislature by the slimmest of margins, nudging former Florida State and NFL football star Peter Boulware by slightly more than a half of a percentage point.

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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