Nick Carey reports strong first quarter, with $19K and new endorsements
Image via Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Nick Carey
'His advocacy for working people has been crucial, and his election will move us one huge step closer to building a city that truly works for everyone.'

Nick Carey, a faith-based community organizer, says he has raised nearly $19,000 in the first three months of 2024 in his bid for St. Petersburg City Council in District 3.

If accurate — official reports have not yet been filed with the city clerk and Carey’s numbers are self-reported to Florida Politics — Carey’s total funds raised since entering the race last year would be $40,910, which includes the nearly $22,000 he brought in before the new year.

Carey said the campaign has collected checks from 689 contributions. That means the average donor contributes less than $60.

Carey also announced an endorsement from St. Pete City Council member Richie Floyd, the first and only Democratic Socialist ever elected to the board (though the elected positions are technically nonpartisan).

“We need members of the City Council that will prioritize the needs of our residents over special interests, and Nick will do just that,” Floyd said. “His advocacy for working people has been crucial, and his election will move us one huge step closer to building a city that truly works for everyone.”

Floyd endorsed Carey earlier this year. Since then, he has also collected support from the West Central Florida Labor Council (AFL-CIO), Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith and former St. Pete City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman.

“Our campaign is all about putting everyday people at the center of decisions that will affect their lives,” Carey said.

“We’re building a movement with that in mind, powered by everyday people to talk to their neighbors about what we’re trying to do in the city. The support we’ve had from dozens of volunteers, hundreds of small dollar donations and leaders and organizations that represent community and working people is a testament to our vision of a St. Pete that works for everyone.”

Carey has a difficult path to election in the district, which covers parts of northeast St. Pete including Old Northeast. Four other candidates are also running, including Juan Lopez Estevez, a Democrat who is running with more establishment Democratic support; Three Daughters Brewing co-owner Mike Harting, who is a well-known political independent in the city; Barry Rubin, a registered Democrat who is running on a conservative platform; and Republican restaurateur Pete Boland.

The group of candidates are running to succeed Ed Montanari, who is facing term limits and is instead running for state House.

District 3 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.

That means there is likely a clear path for a moderate candidate, but not necessarily for a progressive running to the left of others.

But Carey, backed by the activist community, including faith leaders such as Manuel SykesLee Hall-Perkins and others, and community activists such as Eliseo Santana and Lee Bryant, among others, is undeterred.

“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” late last year.

Carey got involved in politics after being dismayed by the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. It prompted him to leave 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.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • Mike

    April 9, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Nothing quite like being in town for 5 minutes and bringing the worlds worst politics with yiu and immediately looking for a government check.

Comments are closed.


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