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Why Janet Cruz won in H-58

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
First of all, to the anonymous bloggers who attempted to discredit the good name of one of Tampa’s finest families, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I know a little something about effective, anonymous, negative blogging, and you sir, are no Jack Kennedy. In fact, the anti-Cruz blog Politics in Tampa is a perfect example of how not to use blogging in a political campaign. For starters, the site lacked credibility and original thought. Regurgitating gossip and innuendo is not enough to make a charge stick against a candidate. And in the end, I think all of the attempts to go negative against Cruz boomeranged against her opponents.

But that’s not why Cruz won. The reason why Cruz won is because she mustered a strong ground game on Election Day to go along with an aggressive direct mail program designed to win support from early voters.

Yesterday, I toured each of the polling locations in House District 58 and the difference between Cruz’ effort and Pat Kemp’s effort was dramatic. Cruz had the signs, the sign-wavers, the poll greeters, the volunteers. While Kemp, for all of the talk about how strong her ground game would be because of her experience as chair of the county party, had a marginal presence at the eight or nine polling locations I visited. In fact, at one location, it wasn’t until two o’clock in the afternoon before a volunteer put out Kemp’s signs.

It can be the little things like that which determine whether a candidate wins or loses an election decided by 58 votes. Congratulations, Janet.

Correction: Yesterday, I wrote that Gil Sanchez was a Republican, when, in fact, he is quite the Democrat. I was so overwhelmed by how beautiful his wife is that I really didn’t care if he was a Democrat, Republican, Whig, whatever. My bad.

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.

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