A newcomer to the St. Petersburg mayoral race has shown to be a competitive fundraiser, raking in more than $53,000 in his first fundraising report, which recorded donations from June 1 through June 18.
Restaurateur and mayoral candidate Pete Boland raised $53,925 between his campaign and associated political committee, St. Pete First. This hefty fundraising report places Boland in a fair position, entering the race with recognized politicos like former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, former state Rep. Wengay Newton and St. Pete City Council members Darden Rice and Robert Blackmon.
Boland saw 44 donors to his campaign account, which collected $23,425 in the 23 days since filing for election. That amount also includes $4,000 in self-funding from Boland.
The candidate received 15 $1,000 contributions, including from fellow bar owner Michael Kellem, Abbot Enterprises, TD Hill Ltd. and JRG Engineering.
In addition, his associated political committee has brought in $30,500, according to his campaign.
Despite a high fundraising period, Rice still leads the field in fundraising, with nearly $245,778 raised for her official campaign so far — $17,517 in the most recent period — and another $370,995 in her affiliated political committee, Friends of Darden Rice.
But Rice began her voter contact program earlier than any other candidate in the race, which has burned through some of her cash. As of the most recent reports, Rice has about $377,130 of her funds remaining.
Trailing Rice is Welch, who has raised a total of $345,295 between his campaign and political committee, Pelican PAC. In his most recent finance report, Welch raised $12,830, and will enter the next period with about $79,037 cash on hand.
Blackmon, who also entered the race later in the game, has brought in $128,530 between his campaign and affiliated committee, Prosperous St. Petersburg, since entering the race in late-May, making him the top fundraiser in the latest period.
Newton is the lowest fundraiser among the frontrunners, raising only $24,784 since launching his campaign, including $1,650 this past period.
The race also includes University of South Florida St. Pete student Michael Ingram, marketer Marcile Powers and educator Torry Nelson, who each raised less than $500 this past reporting period.
The candidates all face off in the citywide Primary Election on Aug. 24. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 2 General Election.