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Rick Baker’s personal finances a mix of frugal spending and long-term investments

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Rick Baker, St. Petersburg’s once and possibly future mayor, isn’t just a political conservative but a financial one, too. 

That’s the picture coming out of the financial disclosures he recently submitted as part of candidate qualifying.

Baker, who currently serves as president of The Edwards Group, is worth $4,376,275, according to his Form 6.

He earned $186,991 in 2016 working for Bill Edwards, the developer and philanthropist, who hired Baker away from his job at the University of South Florida — St. Petersburg to oversee several important projects Edwards was involved in downtown St. Petersburg.

Considering the return on investment Edwards has realized on some of the projects he and Baker have worked on — they flipped the One St. Petersburg property in 2014, making a tidy $5 million profit — paying Baker less than 200K a year is a helluva deal.

Baker also earned $1,626 from book royalties from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Baker is the author of, among other titles, Seamless City, a policy wonk’s memoir about his time running the city.

Much of Baker’s wealth is parked in his investment portfolio, part of which he jointly holds with his wife, Joyce. Together, they have more than $2 million invested in an assortment of funds held with Raymond James & Associates.

Individually, Baker also has an investment account with Raymond James, a handful of active checking accounts with several different banks, and three significant IRA and/or retirement accounts.

After serving almost nine years as mayor, Baker has $142,027 in a City of St. Petersburg retirement account, as well as $124,9343 in a deferred compensation account from the city. He has another $151,752 in a retirement account based on his time at the USF St. Pete.

Baker also has more than a half-a-million dollars in two IRA accounts held at Raymond James.

Baker listed no liabilities, such as mortgages or credit cards.

The assessed value of Baker’s home in Old Northeast is $370,426, although it’s likely he could fetch nearly twice that if he put it on the market. He also owns a condominium on North Shore Drive. A spokesperson for the campaign said the condo belonged to Baker’s mother-in-law who recently died.

Despite his multimillion dollar net worth, Baker’s disclosed just $61,000 in household goods and personal effects, such as cars, furnishings, jewelry and other household items.

If you figure Baker owns two used cars worth, say, $15,000 each, that $61K figure doesn’t leave a lot of room for big screen TVs or expensive watches.

Baker does list that he has $10,000 in cash in a safety deposit box.

Undoubtedly, that is Baker’s rainy day fund.

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.

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