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Steve Kornell trounces opponent in campaign contributions

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell may have been slightly disappointed when he drew a last-minute challenger for re-election in District 5, but based on the latest campaign finance reports, his opposition isn’t necessarily formidable.

Kornell has raised more than $33,000 as of the end of June compared to Philip Garrett’s $185. And that Kornell is trailing off in fundraising activity is also a likely indication that he’s not worried about being ousted from his seat.

Of his total contributions, just $6,775 came during the second quarter of reporting between April and June.

Most of those contributions came from individual St. Pete residents, but there were a handful of donations from groups. The St. Pete Democratic Club kicked in $495. The prominently gay bar Flamingo donated $500 as did a political committee called “Flame.”

The WWFFL political committee cut Kornell’s campaign a $125 check and former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink who has endorsed campaign gave $100 in in-kind contributions for an email blast.

Kornell has spent $8,633 to date. The most recent expenses were $900 for advertising with this blog’s parent company, Extensive Enterprises.

Garrett’s $185 contribution came from his own pocket. All but $10 was spent on qualifying fees and campaign checks.

Kornell will face Garrett at the ballot box in the November General Election. Only the five-way race for District 7 will be on the Aug. 25 primary ballot.

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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