Darden Rice fundraising approaches $100K in St. Pete’s “most expensive” City Council race

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St. Petersburg municipal campaigns have become an increasingly expensive affair.

With almost 91,000 mail requests for ballots in advance, the four weeks remaining in the campaign will feature a frantic drive to raise voter awareness. With the amount of mail-in ballots, the election could be decided now, in advance of the Nov. 5 Election Day.

That means more spending.

District 4 candidate Darden Rice continues to break fundraising records in the most expensive City Council race in St. Pete’s history.

According to recently released financial reports, reported contributions now hover under the $100,000 fundraising mark. In the period from September 14-27, Rice added another $4,380 for a total of $99,750.

The largest of the 36 donations taken in this period were two $500 checks from unions — Ironworkers Local No. 397 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC — as well as from composer Rand Snell and local restaurateur Brandyce Craig.

Entering the home stretch in her third campaign, Rice spent $3,104 on her campaign during the previous reporting period, for a total of nearly $91,000.

In the same period, Carolyn Fries raised $1,410 for a total of $15,337. The largest of the 10 donations to her campaign was a $500 check from Echelon Real Estate. Fries spent $78.50 up to this point, for a total campaign cost of $11,574 so far. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.