Patricia Sigman ad focuses on broken unemployment system
Screen shot from digital campaign commercial for SD 9 Democratic candidate Patricia Sigman.

Patricia Sigman
Without naming him, the ad begins targeting Jason Brodeur in SD 9 contest.

Democratic Florida Senate candidate Patricia Sigman has launched a digital video denouncing the state’s unemployment compensation system as “broken and gutted” in her quest to be elected in Senate District 9.

Without naming him, the ad begins by drawing a distinction between Sigman, an Altamonte Springs lawyer whose career has been in labor and employment law. and Republican candidate Jason Brodeur, a former state Representative who voted to create Florida’s now widely-condemned unemployment compensation system.

The 30-second commercial  “Count On Me,” appearing on social media argues it doesn’t take a lawmaker or an expert to see that the state’s $77 million CONNECT system is badly flawed, as it causes widespread and deepening frustration for the majority of more than 1 million Floridians who’ve sought unemployment compensation since the coronavirus crisis crashed Florida’s economy in mid-March.

However, the commercial suggests, expertise in employment law might be a good thing right about now.

“Right now we are all witnessing a broken and gutted unemployment system,’ Sigman begins. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Through social media, Sigman and Democrats already have been occasionally targeting Brodeur over his 2014 vote for the system, and they likely want it to be a big issue in the district opening to represent Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County.

Sigman will first have to win a Democratic primary. She’s up against four other Democrats — Rick Ashby of Oviedo, Alexis Carter of Altamonte Springs, H. Alexander Duncan of Geneva, and Guerdy Remy of Altamonte Springs.

For now, Florida Democratic organizations are investing heavily in Sigman, just as Florida Republican organizations are investing in Brodeur.

Fellow Democrats aren’t the focus of Sigman’s campaign video, released last week through the Seminole County Democratic Party, and pushed this more broadly this week.

“You need folks who care about you, someone who will vouch for you,” Sigman says in the 30-second commercial produced by the 76 Words advertising firm in Alexandria, Virginia. “Twenty-five years as a labor and employment lawyer representing employees, I work hard. I’m dedicated. You need someone who will say, ‘This is my friend.’ And you can count on me.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Harvey

    May 11, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Glad to see someone is focusing on this. Not only a disaster today for the thousands of poor people trying to feed their families and pay their rent, but as the Inspector General Audit in 2019 suggests,the system has been unstable for years.

  • vanessa ortega

    May 11, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    I just got approved for unemployment and I was asked to claim payment of prior weeks,I cant an error message comes out and I tried calling but nothing,the message says that if I don’t claim before 5/21 I loose my benefits from 4/19, I am desperate ,I am a single mom currently not receiving child support because of the pandemic and o income since 3/19 I was working in a banquet hall that is now waiting to see if they can reopen….when i hear that we are making too much unemployment, I really wish that I can look at this politicians that spend 2,000.00 lunches and they deduct from taxes while for us is rent….Canada got $8,000 per citizen and we are supposed to be a super power…lets make america great again…right what a joke

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