Karl Nurse plays it safe in St. Pete District 6, with $32K at end of campaign

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St. Petersburg City Council chair Karl Nurse is clearly playing it safe in his last financial campaign numbers for the effort to stay in his District 6 seat.

During the period Oct. 12-31, Nurse finished by collecting $7,550 with total contributions of $31,770 overall. This round, his biggest donors include the St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters, the Orlando-based Realtors PAC, and Ron Gofrank, owner of Georgie’s Alibi of St. Pete.

Nurse’s rival, Sharon Russ, capped off a significantly weaker fundraising effort, with $200 in donations and another $300 loan to her campaign, totalling $1,170 overall.

Russ spent only $630.86 in October and invested every dollar of her contributions on the few yards signs seen around the city.

Russ’ only contributor this time was former District 4 candidate Dr. David McKalip, the Tea Party activist who came in third in the primaries. He gave her the $200.

Adding to Nurse’s fundraising dominance was a $9,000 media buy, which was most of the $9,600 he spent in the 20-day period. His campaign price tag stands at $29,960 — more than 25 times Russ’s  spend.

The money shows that Nurse is undeniably taking no chances, considering he has polled solidly over 50 percent for the entire campaign and leads Russ so far by nearly 32 points — 52.4 percent to 20.9 percent — with 26.8 percent undecided.

In the StPetePolls survey focusing on early voters, Nurse leads by even more, 61.4 percent to 27.1 for Russ.

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.