Prominent Pinellas Democrat Harvey Morgenstein dies at age 85

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Prominent Pinellas Democrat Harvey Morgenstein died Friday at age 85.

In 23 years, as the Pinellas Democratic Party moved from dysfunction to minority party status, writes Adam Smith in the Tampa Bay Times, Morgenstein was a constant source of power and optimism, even as an octogenarian relying on an oxygen tank.

Morgenstein was quick to voice disapproval when a party activist or elected official would leave early from one of his Greater Pinellas Democratic Club dinners, often “leaving even the most self-important politico cowering.”

On Monday, about 200 people paid respect to Morgenstein at the Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, where he was remembered as an intellectual, a voracious reader and a passionate advocate for the underdog.  

After moving to Pinellas County in the 1960s, Morgenstein sold leather goods at a flea market for 15 years before becoming an active part of the Greater Pinellas Democratic Club, which under his watch grew into the largest political club on Florida’s west coast.

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.