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Pinellas County candidate Mike Mikurak fattens campaign wallet by $34,000 in first reporting period

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commission hopeful Mike Mikurak is reporting some pretty big campaign contributions for September.

In only his first campaign finance reporting period, Mikurak, the 61-year-old Republican from St. Petersburg, has raised over $34,000 in contributions and loans for his cause. He’s running for County Commission’s District 3 seat in 2016.

To kick things off, Mikurak loaned himself a little over $10,000. Loans that come from candidates themselves have no monetary limit, while campaign donations and loans given by others are capped at $1,000.

Mikurak nabbed quite a few of those maximum allowable $1,000 donations, too — 13 to be exact.

They came from Elaine Mikurak, Largo businessman Joseph White, St. Pete business executive John Connolly, St. Pete-based LEMA Construction & Developers, LEMA Construction President Johnathan Stanton, St. Pete homemaker Susan Stanton, St. Pete-based electronics company NAC Group, Gulfport Realtor Tammy Plummer, Gulfport businessman James Shatz, Seminole retiree Alice Travis, Gulfport retiree Jeffrey Paonessa, Gulfport business owner Vinod Khilnani, and the Tampa-based Florida Leadership Committee PAC.

Beach Drive restaurant 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House also gave a $1,000 in-kind contribution to Mikurak for food and drinks during a September fundraising event.

Mikurak also wrangled in nine $500 donations. Those came from attorney Brian Aungst, Gulfport appraiser Shawn Damkoehler, St. Pete architect William Harvard, St. Pete college trustee Jeffrey Oliver, Gulfport retiree Margaret Sokolosky, Gulfport guidance counselor Tracy Veltrie, Tennessee-based financial adviser Stephen Dillenburg, St. Pete’s Kenneth Heretick, Pinellas Park real estate development executive Brent Sembler, Treasure Island CPA Michael Hajek, and St. Anthony’s Hospital’s President William Ulbricht.

One $300 donation, 13 $250 donations, and 15 donations between $100 and $150 were also donated to the Mikurak campaign in September.

A notable contributor: Mike Twitty, the candidate for Pinellas County property appraiser in 2016. Twitty, who raised over $50,000 in August — his first month of fundraising — tossed Mikurak a good-faith Benjamin.

“We are off to a great start with my campaign,” said Mikurak. “Momentum is building.”

As far as spending goes, Mikurak has spent the most — approximately $2,730 — on an online campaign software subscription from WebElect.net LLC. He’s also dropped $450 on advertising through Extensive Enterprises.

So far, Mikurak’s the only candidate who filed to run for Pinellas’ District 3 Commission seat, though incumbent Charlie Justice has publicly stated that he’ll be running for re-election.

In August 2013, Mikurak, whose 30-plus-year career has primarily been in both global and small business strategy and supply chain management, was appointed to a three-year term on Pinellas’ Juvenile Welfare Board by Gov. Rick Scott.

Currently, he serves as the chairman of BayCare Health System’s Audit Committee. He’s also a member of BayCare’s Board of Directors, the CareerSource Pinellas Board, and the Science, Technology, Education and Innovation Center (STEIC) Board of Trustees.

“I’m a retired businessman ready to bring my experience and knowledge to County Commission,” Mikurak told FloridaPolitics.com last month.

County Commission seats for Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7 will all be up for grabs during the 2016 general election, which falls on Nov. 8.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for SaintPetersblog.com, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for FloridaBarTab.com. He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail devon@floridapolitics.com, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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