Write-in candidate emerges to close Brandes vs. Frishe primary in SD22

in Uncategorized by

Do you know who Raymond Alan Baker?

I, for one, don’t know him.

For that matter, no one I’ve talked to who works in Pinellas politics says they know him.

But Raymond Alan Baker, by qualifying to run for State Senate District 22, just disenfranchised every Democrat and Independent in the district who hoped to help decide who would be their next State Senator.

Earlier this week, Baker qualified with the Florida Division of Elections, thereby closing the Republican primary between Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe.  If Baker or another Democrat or write-in candidate had not emerged, the election between Brandes and Frishe would have been open to not only Republicans, but also to Democrats and all other independent voters.

Not anymore.

I’m not exactly sure which candidate benefits from a closed primary; Brandes with his appeal to the Tea Party element? Or Frishe with his long standing ties to the Republican establishment?

But I do know who DOES NOT benefit from a closed primary: the tens of thousands of voters who had hoped to have a say in who represents them in Tallahassee.

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.