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Deborah Figgs-Sanders regains fundraising lead in St. Pete City Council race

Figgs-Sanders took back the lead with a banner week.

St. Petersburg City Council candidate Deborah Figgs-Sanders has reclaimed her lead in fundraising in her five-way race for District 5.

Figgs-Sanders raised $4,800 Aug. 3-9, according to the most recent campaign finance reports available. The latest fundraising numbers bring Figgs-Sanders total to more than $23,000. 

Beth Connor, one of Figgs-Sanders top performing opponents, had taken the lead during the previous two weeks, but fell behind during the latest reporting period, raising just $1,000. Connor’s fundraising total is $21,560.

Figgs-Sanders also maintains a much larger campaign fund balance with about $16,000 cash on hand compared to Connor’s $2,600. 

Trenia Cox, who has been consistently fundraising third in the race, raised just $270 bring her total to just under $13,000.

Anne Hirsch, a candidate running with the support of the Uhuru group that seeks reparations for black residents, has raised less than $5,000. She brought in just $80 during the latest fundraising period. 

The fifth candidate, Philip Garrett, hasn’t been raising funds.

Figgs-Sanders pulled in the bulk of her most recent fundraising haul from state realtor groups. She received $1,000 each from the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee, Realtors PAC Florida and Realtors Political Activity Committee.

She also got $1,000 from lobbyist Louis Betz who represents clients like American Traffic Solutions, the company that manages most of the state’s red light cameras, and Spin, an electric scooter company hoping to bring its services to the city. 

Figgs-Sanders spent just $750 during the latest one-week campaign finance reporting period including $500 for campaign marketing calls and $250 to 909 Films based in St. Pete for a campaign video. 

Connor’s contributions were mostly local. She raised $400 from the Pinellas Stonewall PAC and $250 from Bay Tech Label, which is owned by former St. Pete City Council member Karl Nurse

She spent more than $4,000 on Street Smartz Consulting, a company that specializes in campaign mailers. 

The candidates are running to replace City Council member Steve Kornell who is leaving office due to term limits. The top two vote-getters in the August 27 primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election. Only voters in the south St. Pete District 5 can vote in the primary.

All St. Pete voters can cast a ballot in the general.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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