Hot New Senate Campaign Gimmick Alert: Petitions!

These dang Florida Democrats can't seem to run for Senate without some sort of campaign gimmick. Lawton Chiles had his walk, Bob Graham had working days, and Dan Gelber is undertaking 100 days of public service. Rep. Kendrick Meek might be leading in fundraising, but he is totally losing in the gimmick department.

Usually, candidates for Senate just pay the registration fee and are done with it, but there is an option to collect signatures in order to qualify. But no U.S. Senate candidate in Florida's history has used that option. Until now. Meek must collect signatures and information from 1 percent of registered voters in the state. That's 112,476 John Hancocks.

This isn't quite as labor-intensive or altruistic as previous gimmicks, but it is smart. One of Meek's biggest marks on Florida politics was the class size amendment he championed. He successfully led a petition drive to have that amendment included on the ballot in 2002.

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