As earlier mentioned here, even though Liz Pike was second choice by the 18th District GOP PCO's, it was unlikely that anyone else would get the appointment.
Rep. Pike has had a long acquaintance with both Commissioners Boldt and Stuart. It would be unlikely they would ignore that in favor of the unfortunately damaged goods represented by Brandon Vick, discussed here, an already weakened candidate mailing it in because he believed he was home free.... failing to raise money, failing to prepare, failing to campaign, failing to help others, failing to show he could come close to winning in a competitive situation..
But this is a scenario tailor-made for a late move by Adrian Cortes.
Although he made a huge mistake by failing to be ready and failing to take advantage of the earned media this opportunity provided him (Indecision is just as bad as recklessness) he may have already crippled himself out of this golden opportunity... since his announcement alone likely would have finished Vick off altogether.
Brandon's weaknesses lack relevance in the discussion here... but suffice it to say they are many and easily overcome by Cortes.
But Cortes' indecision has likely cost him the opportunity to act quickly and decisively. And for that, I wish him luck and note he's likely to be on his own now and in the future.
As for Brandon, this, if nothing else, should be a learning opportunity that if he even hopes to survive the primary next cycle he had better learn and take advantage of.