City Council candidate Nick Carey says he’s ending 2023 on a high note
Image via Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Nick Carey
The faith-based community organizer is banking cash and growing support in what will likely be a difficult campaign.

Nick Carey, a candidate for St. Petersburg City Council in District 3, is celebrating the new year a little early with a rundown of his end of year fundraising numbers and a new slate of endorsements.

Carey, a 35-year-old faith-based community organizer, said he will close out the year with more than $21,000 raised from more than 300 individual contributions, including $3,700 raised in November from 75 donors.

“We are overwhelmed by the support in just these first few months of our campaign,” Carey said in a prepared statement. “With over 300 individual donations and 2,200 doors knocked so far, this is truly a grassroots powered campaign.”

Carey’s end-of-year numbers are self-reported. Financial reports covering the fourth quarter aren’t due to the City Clerk until Jan. 10. But as of the end of September, Carey had raised more than $11,000.

In addition to his fundraising totals, Carey is also rolling out two new endorsements: state Sen. Rosalind Osgood, who represents parts of Broward County in Senate District 32, and former state Senate candidate Eunic Epstein-Ortiz. Ortiz said she is thrilled — which she emphasized in all caps in her endorsement statement — that Carey is running for office.

“It’s hard to be in our city and not have heard about his tireless work fighting for housing reform,” Epstein-Ortiz said. “His leadership is needed on the City Council to ensure our future is one driven by common sense reform, and not billionaires whose goal it is to displace us. Housing is the number one issue facing our city and Nick has been leading the fight for us for several years.”

Carey is one of two candidates currently filed to run for the District 3 seat, which is currently held by Ed Montanari. Montanari is not seeking re-election due to term limits.

Dismayed by the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, Carey left his career in pharmaceuticals that year to become a staff organizer focusing on housing, ballot access and public safety for Faith in Florida after finding a faith community at Allendale United Methodist Church in Old Northeast, a congregation known for progressive activism.

But his message might be a hard sell in District 3, which is one of only two City Council districts where voter registration favors Republicans. Though City Council races are nonpartisan, Montanari is a Republican, and the only one on the current board.

Still the voter registration advantage for the GOP is just about 1,500 voters, and there are more than 5,600 independent voters in the district. But bar and restaurant owner Pete Boland, a Republican, is expected to get into the race. That move could disrupt Carey’s path to victory.

Representing another challenge for Carey, the other candidate in the race is a moderate who is scooping up support from some big names in local Democratic politics. Juan Lopez Estevez entered the race in early November with support from former St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, former state Rep. Sean Shaw and former St. Pete City Council member Steve Kornell.

Carey’s support, meanwhile, comes more from the activist community, including faith leaders such as Manuel Sykes, Lee Hall-Perkins and others, and community activists such as Eliseo Santana and Lee Bryant, among others.

Carey is optimistic heading into the holidays and beyond.

“We’re eager for what the New Year holds and look forward to renewing our people-centered campaign in 2024 as we continue advocating for jobs with dignity, lowering the cost of living, and community-focused, sustainable neighborhoods,” he said in a message wishing St. Pete residents happy holidays filled with “light and joy.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    December 14, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    He does in fact look very very high. While it’s nice to see a Jesusy type letting loose, I am shocked that a Jesusy type admits to it!

Comments are closed.


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