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What an active PCDEC could have done

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
As I passed by the Saturday Morning Market and saw Scott Wagman’s hard-working volunteers continue to collect the requisite number of signatures from Saint Petersburg voters, a task which Jamie Bennett’s campaign only recently completed, I couldn’t help but wonder what a difference it would make if there was a more active, more politically astute Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee.

Let’s say I was chair of the PCDEC, a terrifying thought to some, I am sure. But if I were chair, I would have approached all of the viable Democrats (sorry Alex) running for Mayor of St. Petersburg and offered to organize their petition-gathering process. “Jamie, Scott, Kathleen…I want you all to focus on communicating your message to the voters rather than you spending your precious time and resources on the arduous task of collecting signatures. I’m going to organize teams of volunteers to work all of the major events in the city and collect those signatures for you all because I want as many strong Democrats on the ballot as possible.”

From there, I would deploy teams of volunteers to every event that takes place from January to March. Pay the volunteers if you have to. Challenge Ed Helm and his faction to collect signatures for all Democrats, not just their slate. Just get the signatures done for the Democratic candidates. Demonstrate the credibility of the party. Move on to the next task.

Instead, the three major Democratic candidates have spent their time collecting signatures, while Deveron Gibbons raised $117,000. What’s worse is a situation like Scott Wagman’s, who normally I attack, but today with whom I sympathize, who has paid out $2,000 a month for a field organizer who has yet to bring in the requisite number of signatures (although I see you working, Scott, now that you’re not first as you had hoped, you’re gonna just keep collecting signatures as a voter contact effort).

The point is, here was a situation where the PCDEC could have lent a valuable hand; instead it has remained idle.

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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