St. Petersburg City Council candidate Tom Mullins has taken the title from opponent Lisset Hanewicz as the top fundraiser in the District 4 race, but he didn’t exactly raise the funds. Mullins cut a $40,000 check to his own campaign.
Mullins reported collecting $40,020 in the most recent two-week fundraising period, which covers Sept. 11 through Sept. 24. That amount includes $40,000 from the Raymond James executive himself, and one additional contributor.
Hanewicz, on the other hand, raised $7,430 in the same timeframe, according to city finance reports. The former prosecutor reported 22 donors, including six $1,000 donations from organizations such as Friends of Gina Driscoll, a political committee affiliated with the City Council member, Laborers Local Union 517 Political League and several realtor political committees.
Both Mullins and Hanewicz are amping up their spending ahead of the Nov. 2 General Election.
Hanewicz dished out $27,738 this period, with all but $83 paying for advertising. The remainder went to processing fees.
Mullins spent $22,474 in the same timeframe, also on advertising.
The latest fundraising period puts Mullins’ total ahead of Hanewicz, with Mullins collecting $106,455 since starting his campaign and Hanewicz raising $99,909. Mullins’ total includes $90,100 in self-contributions, and Hanewicz includes $5,500 in self-funding.
Mullins entered October with $31,722 cash on hand, and Hanewicz with $17,590 in available spending money.
Both candidates are running to succeed Darden Rice on the City Council.
Recently, Mullins came under fire from local union officials for campaign mailers appearing to attack first responders and their unions. Hanewicz also publicly condemned the mailers, pointing to a quote on the mailers credited to Mullins that smears public worker unions, as well as a blurb from his campaign site, which says city employees are overcompensated “above private-market benchmarks.”
In the most recent polling, Mullins leads Hanewicz with 21% support to Hanewicz’s 19% among the 484 people polled. However, most respondents — 60% — said they are unsure or didn’t want to say who they will support.
Even though the race is nonpartisan, Mullins is running as a fiscal conservative in a city that favors Democrats, putting him at a statistical disadvantage against the more progressive Hanewicz.