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Mike Mikurak’s donations to his campaign fatten his fundraising balance

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Mike Mikurak’s fundraising total far outweighs the amount raised by incumbent Charlie Justice.

The two are battling it out for the District 3 seat on the Pinellas County Commission. The District 3 seat is at large and voted on countywide.

Mikurak, a retired businessman, has deposited a total of $156,352 in his campaign account; Justice, $105,928.

But a sizable portion of Mikurak’s total came out of his own pocket. As of mid-October, Mikurak had given about $42,700 in cash and in-kind donations to his campaign.

That trend has continued as the campaign has wound down to its final days. During the period from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21, for example, Mikurak put $8,000 of his own funds into the race. From Oct. 22 through Nov. 3, he put in another $2,160 in-kind towards advertising.

Justice has benefited from union money in the closing days of the race.

Union pac donors include the Millwrights and Machinery Local 1000 ($1,000), Ironworkers ($500), Local Union 915 ($500), WCFFL ($250), and the Florida Fire Pac ($250).

The battle between Mikurak and Justice has been nasty at times.

Mikurak, a Republican, has attacked Justice, a Democrat, as being a career politician. (Justice served in both the State House and Senate before being elected to the county commission). He has also called Justice arrogant and accused him of wasting taxpayers’ money.

Mikurak says he has also brought employment to 200 Pinellas residents and that more of the same is needed. Mikurak says a businessman is necessary on the commission.

Justice has countered with a lower-key campaign that focuses on the changes that, he said, have been made since his election to the county commission four years ago. Among them, a calming of the disputes among commissioners themselves and between the county and cities, fire districts, fire chiefs, and other county commissions.

Justice says the county needs more collaboration and willingness to cooperate with other governments to accomplish things.

The election is Tuesday.

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