Darden Rice leads David McKalip in polls — and second quarter fundraising

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Community activist Darden Rice is far ahead in the money race for St. Petersburg City Council District 4 seat, according to campaign fundraising reports released today. Rice collected $31,350 from April 1 to June 30, bringing her total to $56,225.

As far as the number of individual donations, Rice also leads with 244.  Among the individuals and organizations contributing to Rice’s campaign in the second quarter, 2013 include:

  • Former Gov. Charlie Crist
  • Chair of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic Board of Directors Elsie Minkoff
  • Attorney Larry Beltz
  • LGBT group Pinellas Stonewall Democrats
  • UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Union
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Florida State Council
  • Millwright Local 1000 Carpenter’s Union
  • Real Estate eeveloper James Holton

Rice’s closest fundraising rival in the District 4 race to succeed term-limited Leslie Curran, neurosurgeon and Tea Party activist David McKalip, raised only $21,750 in the same period. This makes his total donations $30,543 to date.

With 105 separate donors, some of the largest checks to McKalip came from artist Elizabeth Burgess, Frederick Derr & Co. Construction and the political group Floridians for Liberty. Many of the remaining donations are from a variety of doctors and medical professionals.

Not only is Rice a shrewd fundraiser, but it seems she also spends the money well; her position as frontrunner is costing her less than McKalip’s price tag for second place. Rice’s expenditures were only $14,802 this quarter, for a total of just over $20,000.

In comparison, McKalip spent $22,782 this quarter for a total of $26,298—or just under a third more than Rice.

With more donations and less expenditure, there should be little wonder why Rice is running ahead in the latest polling.  

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.