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Challenger Mike Mikurak leads incumbent Charlie Justice in fundraising for Pinellas Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Political newcomer Mike Mikurak is outstripping incumbent Charlie Justice by almost two to one when it comes to fundraising for the District 3 seat on the Pinellas County Commission.

As of April 30, when the books closed on the most recent fundraising reports, Republican Mikurak had raised $87,505 in cash contributions and another $7,103.98 from in-kind donations. In contrast, Justice, the Democrat, had raised $48,067 in cash and $$2,078.40 from in-kind donations, according to records from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office.

But those figures don’t tell the whole story. Mikurak might have a big edge overall, but in recent months, Justice has been catching up.

Mikurak started his run in September by raising a hefty $34,091 in cash and the next month, he reported raising $13,348 in cash. Those have been his two best months so far.

Justice, on the other hand, who started his run in October, had raised only $100 by month’s end.

Justice was the clear winner in November – $16,117 cash to Mikurak’s $5,800.

Mikurak won the fundraising stakes in December with $11,300 cash contributions to Justice’s $3,385. He won again in January with $9,022 to Justice’s $4,650.

Since then, Justice has been in the lead.

In February, he brought in $,225 to Mikurak’s $2,675. In March, Justice raised $11,880 to Mikurak’s $7,000. And, in April, he edged Mikurak with $7,710 to the challenger’s $6,700.

The two are running for one of the three at-large seats on the Pinellas County Commission. District 3 covers St. Petersburg, Gulfport, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach and a portion of Pinellas Park. The election is Nov. 8.

In other Commission races, incumbent Janet Long has raised $65,318; incumbent Ken Welch, $32,535; and incumbent Karen Seel, $29,819. Long and Seel have no opponents. Sharon McManus had announced she would run against Welch, but withdrew, leaving him unopposed.

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