Pete Boland outraises crowded St. Pete City Council field in latest finance period, but still has catching up to do
Image via Brian James.

Pete Boland
'With the continued support of our donors, I am confident we can make a lasting impact on our city.'

St. Petersburg City Council candidate Pete Boland, a local restaurateur, has outraised the crowded field of candidates in the open race for the District 3 seat to replace Ed Montanari, who is not seeking re-election due to term limits.

Boland raised $24,463 from April 1 through June 14, about $3,000 more than the next closest fundraiser of the cycle. But Boland has raised just $36,873 total, leaving him second-to-last in overall fundraising out of the five candidates running.

Still, it’s momentum that Boland hopes to tap as the August Primary draws near.

“I am incredibly grateful for the overwhelming financial support from my fellow St. Petersburg residents,” Boland said. “This support is a testament to our shared vision for a better St. Petersburg, and it empowers me to effectively communicate my message to voters across District 3.”

“As we move forward, I remain committed to listening to the needs of our community and working tirelessly to bring about meaningful improvements,” he continued. “With the continued support of our donors, I am confident we can make a lasting impact on our city.”

Boland’s fundraising surge came from 77 contributions averaging about $318. Notable contributors include several businesses in the downtown and surrounding areas, such as Central Cigars; Flute & Dram; Pin Wok & Bowl; Greenbench Brewery; the Hangar Restaurant; former Old Northeast Tavern owner Dan Soronen, who is running for the City Council District 7 seat; and Mark Ferguson, who owns Ferg’s Sports Bar across the street from Tropicana Field.

Boland has spent $11,712, most of that this period. Expenses include $2,500 for political consulting from The Public Square, the firm run by Reggie Cardozo. He also spent $1,070 on yard signs from Colorfast Printing; $1,611 to reimburse Ismael Gerena for food and beverage costs; $1,000 for First Friday banners from Nightlight Productions; and several small-dollar amounts for event expenses, marketing, reimbursements and office supplies.

Coming in just behind Boland in fundraising this finance period was Nick Carey, a progressive activist attempting to tap into affordability frustrations in the city as he faces a contest in a conservative district. Carey raised $21,293 during the period, bringing his total raised to $62,204, the most of any candidate.

And true to his grassroots activism, Carey raised funds from a staggering number of individual contributions. While some people donated several times, the average individual contributions to Carey’s campaign came out to just $49 across 434 checks cut.

Most of the names on his donor sheet are average citizens, but some names jump out, including $1,000 from the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 123 PAC; $1,000 from Teamsters Local 79 PAC; $250 from the West Central Federation of Labor political committee; and $200 from Bryan Beckman, a progressive Democrat running for Florida House.

Carey spent $7,200 this period, including about $2,600 to Good Guys Signs in Tampa for postcards, T-shirts and yard signs.

Mike Harting, co-owner of 3 Daughters Brewing wasn’t far behind Boland or Carey this fundraising period. Overall, he’s No. 2 in fundraising. Harting raised $19,650 this period from 51 contributions averaging $385 each. He spent just under $17,000 during this period, and $22,247 since entering the race.

Expenditures include about $3,585 to Election Management Solutions, a conservative political consulting firm run by Randy Enwright and Jim Rimes; and about $3,700 to Supernova Digital Communication for social media management. That firm is affiliated with Election Management Solutions.

Barry Rubin, a registered Democrat who is running on a conservative platform, is dead last in overall funding, with just $16,438 raised since entering the race. But with $2,500 raised this fundraising period, he wasn’t dead last. That superlative goes to Juan Lopez Estevez, a Democrat who is running with establishment support. But while Estevez raised just $2,075 this period, he has raised more than $48,000 overall.

Rubin spent less than $1,000 in the most recent finance period, and has spent just $3,259 overall. A notable contribution this period came from Republican Rep. Linda Chaney’s political committee, Friends of Linda Chaney, which kicked in $500.

Estevez spent nearly $17,000 in the most recent fundraising period, bringing his total spent to more than $28,000. Of his most recent expenditures, more than $14,000 went to Key Lime Strategies and Media for consulting services. The St. Pete-based firm has represented progressive local political clients including Tampa City Council members Lynn Hurtak and Bill Carlson and Gulfport City Council member April Thanos.

It’s worth noting that City Council races are nonpartisan, meaning candidates’ political affiliations won’t appear on the ballot and they are bound by election rules from discussing political affiliation.

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].


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