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Hot on the trail: Fundraising notes from the St. Pete municipal races

Much has been made of the race between incumbent Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker for St. Petersburg mayor, but three St. Pete City Council seats will also be on the ballot when voters head to the polls Nov. 7.

Here’s where the six candidates running for those three slots stand as of their most recent campaign finance reports, which cover the week beginning Sept. 30.

In the District 2 race between Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard, Gabbard won the week with $5,875 in contributions compared to $1,375 for Harless.

Gabbard still lags behind Harless in total fundraising and, with $17,051 in spending compared to Harless’ $4,756, she also lost her cash-on-hand advantage for the final stretch of the campaign.

All but about $90 of Gabbard’s outflow last week went to Tampa-based Politicus, for advertising, while nearly half of Harless’ spending went toward mailers from Tampa-based Sonic Printing.

As of Oct. 6, Gabbard had raised a total of $46,188 for her campaign and had about $11,200 in the bank. Harless fundraising total was $60,155 through the same date, with $14,532 on hand.

In the Disitrict 6 race, Gina Driscoll outraised Justin Bean for the week and maintained her advantage in total fundraising and cash on hand, though Bean was able to take the most votes in the primary election for the seat despite his lower fundraising numbers.

Driscoll added $10,525 during the reporting period and spent nothing, bringing her campaigns total up to $51,836 and putter her with $21,373 on hand a month out from Election Day.

Bean added $5,375 for the week, and also kept spending very low with only $12 leaving the campaign. He sits with about $11,000 on hand on total fundraising of $37,125.

Darden Rice, the only incumbent council member on the ballot next month, continued dominating her opponent in the District 4 contest, 21-year old USF-St. Petersburg student Jerick Johnston.

Rice showed another $17,175 in contributions in her new report, and also showed spending $67,706. Nearly $57,000 of that outflow went to Mack-Sumner Communications for campaign mailers, while Snyder-Pickerill Media Group picked up more than $10,000 for a media buy.

The report shows Rice with a fundraising total of $130,388 through Oct. 6, though she had only had $2,775 on hand when the report was filed.

Johnston, for his part, showed no contributions and only spent $10 on a bank fee during the week. He had just shy of $2,000 on hand on total fundraising of $4,331 when the reporting period closed.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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