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December 11, 2017

Politics' Hired Guns

Today, Florida's professional political consultants know more about voters than the voters might like. But for all the tools at their disposal, it's still tough -- and more expensive -- to get a message out.

Amy Keller | 3/1/2008

POLITICAL CONSULTANT

April Schiff
Strategic Solutions of Florida
President/Tampa

Political leaning: Republican

April Schiff
April Schiff: “You have to earn enough money in six months to live on for two years.” [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
Political route: Schiff formed the firm with Ann Voss, who is now retired, in 2000 after volunteering on a few local races. “It gets in your blood. It’s sort of addictive.”

Boys club: Schiff says her male counterparts initially thought they were just a couple of “bored housewives.” Eight years later, she says “I don’t think any of them are saying that anymore.”

How to: Schiff provides each client with a big binder that includes the candidates’ walk plan, fund-raising plan, mail plan, media plan and get-out-the-vote, or GOTV, plan. “We guide the candidate through the entire process and start early with a very detailed plan so they can understand what the goals are.”

The money: If you’re good at budgeting, you can make a good living as a political consultant. “You have to earn enough money in six months to live on for two years.”

Registration trends: “The biggest surge in voter registration is (voters) with no party affiliation. NPAs are going up faster than Republicans and Democrats. I think that’s somewhat telling about our system.”

Clients: U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez; former Gov. Jeb Bush; former state Sen. Jim Sebesta; state Rep. Faye Culp; former state Reps. Rob Wallace and Sandy Murman; Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober; Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner; several members of the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council.

Tags: Around Florida

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