According to the most recent campaign finance documents filed with the City of St. Pete, City Council member Steve Kornell is crushing his opponent in campaign cash.
Kornell has raised more than $35,000 for his re-election bid. His opponent, Phillip Garrett, has goose eggs. That’s right. As of August 2, the most recent campaign finance information available, Garrett hasn’t raised a dime.
But that’s not stopping Kornell from launching a robust campaign and taking nothing for granted. Kornell is hosting a campaign kickoff party September 9 from 6-9 p.m. at the Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove. The hotel is located on Tampa Bay just near the Skyway Bridge.
“Join Steve as he kicks off his campaign for his final term to the St. Petersburg City Council,” an event page on Facebook invites. “He is not taking any vote, handshake or phone call for granted and needs your help in order to continue serving St. Pete! Councilman Kornell invites you to join him as he lays out his vision for St. Pete during his next term.”
It’s wise for Kornell not to take re-election for granted despite lacking a formidable candidate. The Tampa Bay Times has been rough on him in recent months because Kornell is one of four holdouts on Mayor Rick Kriseman’s agreement with the Rays to allow the Major League Baseball team to look for stadium sites outside the city.
Prior to the qualifying deadline the Times issued a scathing op-ed lambasting Kornell and calling for anyone to run against him to boot him out of office. They based that critique on the sole Rays issue.
The Times hasn’t endorsed anyone in the race. It’s anyone’s guess whether they will, but if they do endorse Kornell it’s likely to be begrudgingly.
More than 200 people were invited to Kornell’s campaign kickoff through Facebook. Nine have so far indicated they’d be going including Kornell’s former partner and good friend Bobby Poth, Democratic activist Suzanne Snurpus, Lisa Wheeler-Brown campaign manager Meagan Salisbury and Eric Lynn campaign manager Tom Alte.
The general election is November 3.