Hot on the trail: The best of the rest from St. Pete City Council races

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Candidates for St. Petersburg City Council faced a Monday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through March 31.

Inside these finance reports are some interesting tidbits of information. Here are five data points which stood out.

— Although District 2 candidate Brandi Gabbard spent more than she raised in March ($3,185 vs $4,060), the most important takeaway from her report is that powerful state Sen. Jack Latvala donated $500 to her campaign via his political committee, Florida Leadership Committee. State Rep. Chris Latvala also contributed $500 through his political committee.

— Gabbard’s report also indicates she has hired the well-regarded Gregory Wilson as her consultant and Shannon Love as her campaign manager.

— Gabbard’s opponent, Barclay Harless, raised a healthy $6,585 in March with notable contributions from former CFO Alex Sink, former state Rep. Bill Heller, County Commissioner John Morroni, lobbyist Shawn Foster (via Sunrise Consulting), developer Darryl LeClair, attorney Dave Punzak, and Kriseman administration staffer Dave Flintom.

— District 4 incumbent Darden Rice proved again she is a strong fundraiser, pulling in $19,060 in March. She picked up checks from a coalition of mostly progressive donors, including the police union, SEIU, County Commissioner Ken Welch, fellow Councilmember Karl Nurse, Tampa Councilmember Charlie Miranda, former state House candidate Jennifer Webb. Rice also received contributions from former state education commissioner Betty Castor and Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld.

— Here’s something I didn’t know until I scanned the campaign finance reports: liberal activist Jim Jackson is running for City Council District 6. Jackson, who previously ran for the Pinellas School Board, filed earlier this month for the seat currently held by the term-limited Karl Nurse.

P.S. — Hey Matt Florell, on March 21 Rick Kriseman’s campaign paid for a poll conducted by Tom Eldon. Didn’t you receive a call around that time? If so, what were the questions?


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.