St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice has announced two senior level staff hires to help in her bid for Mayor.
Conner Jure and Miranda Colavito will be joining Rice’s campaign team to build its outreach capacity. Jure will come on as organizing director, and Colavito will become the campaign’s finance director.
“I continue to be humbled by the people joining our team and the community support our campaign is receiving,” Rice said in a news release. “It’s a huge advantage to be the first campaign to start knocking on doors and calling voters to share my positive message. It’s the skilled, passionate, and most importantly, locally experienced and knowledgeable campaign staff who’ve joined my team that has made it possible. My background is in organizing — I know how critical this work is to creating a stronger, more responsive city for everyone in every neighborhood.”
Jure is a St. Pete native, credited with helping flip Pinellas County blue in the presidential election as the regional organizing director for the Florida Democratic Party in 2020.
He also worked as the regional Get Out The Vote director in the January Georgia Senate Election, supporting the election of U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the nationally watched runoff elections that gave Democrats a narrow majority in the Senate.
Colavito has worked with Blue Ticket Consulting in campaign finance for the previous two election cycles, securing wins for several candidates locally and around the country.
In Pinellas County, she worked on the reelection campaigns of Rep. Ben Diamond and Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman. She also helped maintain a Democratic majority on the Pinellas County Commission with work on Commissioner Janet Long‘s reelection.
“Darden has further solidified her frontrunner status by starting our field and organizing program earlier than any St. Petersburg mayoral campaign in recent memory while continuing to build on her financial advantage,” said campaign manager Meagan Salisbury. “We’re building the infrastructure to make sure voters hear Darden’s vision for St. Petersburg. When they hear how she’s dedicated both her career with non-profits and role in public office to building a better city — we’ll win.”
Rice is one of several candidates currently running to succeed Mayor Rick Kriseman who is leaving office because of term limits. Rice is up against former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and former Rep. Wengay Newton. The race also features Realtor Vincent Nowicki, University of South Florida St. Pete student Michael Ingram and Marcile Powers.
The municipal Primary Election is Aug. 24. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to the General Election Nov. 2.