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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Where's the enthusiasm for Charlie Crist's campaign?



Let's stipulate that Charlie Crist is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination in Pinellas County's and therefore the U.S. House seat that is Pinellas County's redrawn and overwhelmingly Democratic Congressional district 13. Given Crist's universal name recognition and lifetime of political relationships, we're not even entirely convinced his Democratic opponent,  Eric Lynn, will still be running by the time the qualiying period ends on June 24.

That said, the latest fundraising invite to reach our in box serves as a reminder at how anemic the visible support has been so far for Crist. The Dec. 2 $250-per-guest reception at the Seminole home of Peter amd Michelle Todd Schorsch has a host committee that includes Janet Cruz, Mike Fasano, Bob and Carrie Henriquez, Janet Long, Darden Rice, Taylor Biehl, Ana Cruz, Mike Hamby, Sean Pittman, Stephanie Smith, Amanda Taylor.

Where are the invites packed with local business leaders, rather than predictable names? Mostly we keep seeing host committees with assorted elected officials, Crist relatives, a handful of loyalists from his last few campaigns and few people with reputations for raising big money. The host committees have not even had great many people living in the expected district.

Some of the area's most prominent Democrats - Craig Sher, Rick Kriseman, St Pete City Council member Charlie Gerdes, and School board member Linda Lerner are with Lynn - and I haven't heard more than a couple Democrats or even longtime Crist friends express actual enthusiasm for Crist's latest campaign.

Maybe the enthusiasm will grow, and in the end it may not matter much if it doesn't. But this latest fundraising invite is only the latest sign that no one should underestimate the level of Charlie Crist fatigue, even in his backyard.

[Last modified: Monday, November 23, 2015 2:26pm]


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