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Another shadow senator election, another small fortune spent by perennial candidate Pete Ross on an unsuccessful campaign. After spending $202,000 of his own money pursuing the unpaid lobbying position in 2012, Ross spent $177,084 out of his own pocket trying to defeat incumbent Paul Strauss in last week’s primary—-and lost in a landslide.
Believe him or not, Ross claims he doesn’t mind.
“Did I like losing that money?” Ross says. “No. Do I regret losing it? No.”
A day before he lost to Strauss, 38 percent to 60 percent, Ross contributed to his campaign another $5,000. Cash infusion aside, Ross says his campaign’s fate had already been sealed a week earlier when Strauss’ camp mailed voters about Ross’ tax evasion conviction, a move Ross calls a “scumbag-type thing”. (LL’s not sure what it says about the shadow candidate field that Ross was able to send out his own mailer highlighting Strauss’ arrest for driving under the influence.)
Ross won’t rule out another run for the all-but-fictional office, which won’t be on the ballot again until 2018. In the meantime, he’s considering starting an organization of his own to push for statehood, as well as a company to hire fellow ex-felons for city contract work.
“Don’t get mad, get even,” Ross tells LL. “And getting even would be helping to get jobs for these people”
Photo courtesy Pete Ross