Darden Rice still holds wide lead in District 4 race; Fries, McKalip battling for second place

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Whatever doubts a recent news report raised about her meeting the residency requirements to run in District 4, they do not seem to have affected Darden Rice’s status as the front-runner in the race to succeed Leslie Curran on St. Petersburg’s City Council.

In a poll of likely District 4 voters, Rice commands 26% of respondents’ support in the latest survey from St. Pete Polls commissioned by this blog. She is followed by neurosurgeon David McKalip at 17%; former Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association president Carolyn Fries comes in at 15%.

Forty-three percent of voters said they were undecided as to who they will for in the August 27 primary. The top two finishers move on to a citywide general election.

That McKalip and Fries are now just separated by two points indicates that the race for second place may be the question answered on Election Day.

For her part, Rice appears to have weathered the storm which brewed after a report by the Tampa Bay Times revealed both Rice and McKalip are not living where they claim. 

The report said the Times visited both listed addresses but found no one living there. In both cases, neighbors said there is no activity at those locations. 

In interviews with Patch, both McKalip and Rice dispute claims they do not meet residency qualifications to run for District 4. 

McKalip told Patch he is trying to sell his home now located in District 3 and is renting an apartment in District 4 that he uses. 

Rice and McKalip say they are 100 percent certain they qualify for the election. 

Material from Patch was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.