The two-person race for Pinellas County Commission’s District 3 seat just got a little richer.
Incumbent Charlie Justice‘s November fundraising figures were published today by the Supervisor of Elections. And in what was his first full month of campaigning, Justice brought-in approximately $16,117 on 72 unique contributions.
In total, Justice received four of the maximum allowable $1,000 donations, 12 $500 donations, 12 donations for between $200 and $300, and 16 donations for between $100 and $125. The remaining 28 donations were for $99 or less.
Some of Justice’s notable and big-name donors include St. Petersburg City Councilmember Ken Nurse and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who each gave $500; former State Rep. Lars Hafner, who contributed $250; Gulfport City Councilmember Yolanda Roman, who tossed in $50; and St. Petersburg Free Clinic Executive Director Beth Houghton, who donated $100.
Two of Justice’s four $1,000 contributions came from Tampa’s James Dato and Oldsmar’s Thomas Foxhill, respectively. The other two came from Palm Harbor consulting services firm Bantock Enterprises, and Clearwater retail business BEC FL LLC.
The 47-year-old Democrat also nabbed a $500 in-kind contribution from Bella Brava, the Beach Drive restaurant where his biggest November fundraiser was held.
So far, Justice hasn’t reported spending any of what he’s raised for his re-election campaign either.
However — and despite the conservative spending — Justice still has some catching up to do if he wants to match his competitor’s fundraising efforts.
Mike Mikurak, a 61-year-old Republican and member of Pinellas’ Juvenile Welfare Board, has now raised upward of $53,000 for his run at Justice’s seat on county commission.
So the race is shaping up to be an interesting one. Especially when considering what could be at stake: majority rule of the Pinellas County Commission.
Currently — and for the first time in 50 years — the seven-member board is controlled by the Democrats, with four members of the party occupying commission seats.
If Mikurak wins, he’ll likely be re-establishing the county commission as a Republican-heavy board, as only one of the four seats up for grabs in 2016 is held by a Republican, the hard to beat, longtime county Commissioner Karen Seel, who holds commission’s District 5 seat.
In addition to the District 3 and District 5 seats, county commission seats for Districts 1, and 7 will also be up for grabs during the 2016 general election, which falls on November 8.