Kendrick collects signatures to get on ballot

04/02/09 Mitch E. Perry
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A day after Congressman Kendrick Meek announced that he has raised nearly $1.5 million in the early days of his campaign for the U.S. Senate, he announced today that he intends to qualify for the ballot by gathering signatures by petition.

Meek will have a year to collect the 112,000+ signatures he needs to qualify. Sometimes local candidates qualify for a ballot by gathering petitions, but it is nearly unprecedented for a candidate running statewide in Florida – home to approximately 18 million people- to qualify in such a fashion.

Meek said he did not intend to pay people to collect signatures, and acknowledged that by its unconventionalality, it will allow him to engage more directly with the electorate. And he said in some ways it will a listening tour, a la Hillary Clinton in New York in 1999 on her statewide tour.

The initial petition drive launch will have Meek crisscrossing the state beginning Saturday in Orlando, and then coming to Tampa on Sunday at Ballast Point Park at 2 p.m.

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