CLEARWATER — A 47-year-old Miami labor attorney and Navy veteran paced around a pint-sized Marriott hotel ballroom Thursday evening throwing out ideas to Pinellas County Democrats.
They loved it.
Require that the military buy guns only from manufacturers that don't sell civilians AR-15-style weapons? That sounds interesting. Make gun owners carry insurance? Absolutely. Collect data on judges to ensure they apply the law evenly to all races and genders? Worth a shot.
"Equality under the law is not about the way the law is written," the attorney told roughly 75 people at the monthly meeting of the Pinellas Democratic Party. "It's about the way the law is applied."
If you hadn't seen the social media notices, you might not know who the attorney was. She's Pam Keith, and she's running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate in the Aug. 30 primary. You may have heard of her opponents, U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson of Orlando and Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, but she hasn't gained much traction — which is curious, based on the positive reaction of the crowd.
Teresa Kelly, 56, of St. Petersburg, voted early for Grayson. Did she have buyer's remorse, based on how Keith electrified the crowd?
"Maybe a little," Kelly said. "Maybe I didn't do my homework, and I'm ashamed to admit that."