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Steve Kornell’s campaign contributions swell to more than $40,000

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council member Steve Kornell continues to trounce his opposition in campaign finance activity. Kornell has raised more than $42,000 so far after bringing in $5,662 between August 17 and September 13.

Kornell’s opponent, Phillip Garrett, raised $800 during the latest reporting period marking his first contributions to date. Garrett pulled in another $231.75 of in-kind contributions from himself.

Garrett received a $500 contribution from St. Pete resident John Klement, $100 from himself and $200 from Young Floridians for Opportunity. He spent $241.82 on yard signs from Good Guy Signs and $8 on data from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office.

Garrett’s lackluster fundraising is intentional. He has vowed to run a campaign based on issues, not who donates to his campaign.

Meanwhile, Kornell continues to rake in funds. He brought in maximum $1,000 contributions from The Pinellas Police Benevolent Assocation PAC and the FLAME firefighters political committee. TECO and Punta Gorda business owner Earl Smith each contributed $500 while the Metropolitan Advertising Co., Tarpon Springs retirees Lawrence and Ellen Floriani and La Budde and Sons all donated $250.

The West Central Federation of Labor contributed $125.

Kornell spent $7,481.86 during the latest reporting period. A good chunk of that went to campaign consulting. Kornell paid $3,000 to Dario Scalco for management services. Scalco is from Louisiana. Another $3,805 went to the Campaign Workshop for “walk cards” and legal fees. The majority of that expense was on the cards campaigns used to hand out while canvassing neighborhoods.

The campaign also spent $350 on photography and just shy of $300 for catering at the Magnuson Hotel near the Skyway for Kornell’s campaign kickoff party.

With just $16,131.48 spent on his campaign so far, Kornell still has plenty of money to work with throughout the campaign.

Not only does Kornell have a wide funding advantage in his race, he’s also leading the way in endorsements. The most recent came Monday morning as The Tampa Tribune published its picks for City Council races. Though it was begrudging, the paper endorsed Kornell.

The Tampa Bay Times has not yet released endorsements.

Kornell and Garrett face off November 3 at the polls for the District 5 seat covering parts of South St. Pete, including Greater Pinellas Point, Lakewood Estates and the Skyway Marina District.

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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