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Pinellas Park mayoral candidates off to slow fundraising start

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Not much is going on in terms of fundraising in Pinellas Park’s mayoral election. Current Mayor Sandra Bradbury and her opponent, Keith Sabiel, both have raised less than $500 for the March election.

Bradbury filed a waiver of report for the most recent campaign finance deadline spanning December, which means there was no campaign activity. Prior to that Bradbury had raised just over $430 with $150 coming from Todd Pressman of Pressman & Associates, a government and public affairs consulting firm. The rest came from her personal finances.

Meanwhile, Sabiel had just about the same activity. He didn’t raise or spend any funds during December, but did have one $29 in-kind contribution for website services.

Bradbury has spent about $260 of her total cash. Sabiel spent just under $230 leaving Bradbury with only about $100 more cash on hand than her opponent.

The two are running in the March 15 Presidential Preference Primary down ballot.

Bradbury was elected in 2012 and then re-elected in 2014 without opposition. She also served on Pinellas Park City Council from 2002 until she was elected Mayor.

She has served as chair of the Suncoast League of Cities and as a member of the Mayor’s Council of Pinellas County. In 2008, the Tampa Bay Business Journal awarded Bradford it’s Business Woman of he Year Award.

Bradbury is also the daughter of former Pinellas Park Mayor Cecil Bradbury.

Sabiel is the city’s director of public utilities. He’s headed the department for more than 15 years and has worked in the department for more than 40. Sabiel ran unsuccessfully for Pinellas Park City Council in 2014.

Though the presidential primary is closed to just Democrats and Republicans voting for members of their party, independent voters can vote in municipal races.

There is also one referendum on the ballot this March. It asks voters whether the city should be allowed to grant “property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs in the municipality.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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