With big boost from Florida GOP, Bill Foster takes in another $38K for re-election bid

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St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says partisan politics in St. Petersburg elections has “no sign of letting up.”

And he means it.

In fundraising numbers recently released on the city’s website, the incumbent mayor received yet another GOP shot in the arm from the Republican Party of Florida. This time it is for more than $7,600, listed as in-kind donations for research. The St. Petersburg Republican Club also gave $200.

This boost helped Foster outperform his Democratic opponent Rick Kriseman in the two-week financial reporting period of September 14-27. Foster collected over $30,000, with another $8,000 of in-kind donations, for a total of $208,241 to date.

Kriseman took in $25,143 in the same period, making his total just under $241,000.

Law enforcement maintained their constant support for Foster, with $500 checks coming from Police Benevolent Association PACs for West Central Florida, Dade County, and West Palm Beach, as well as from associated groups like the Friends of Law Enforcement and Florida PBA Justice. During the reporting period, law enforcement officers and groups gave Foster’s campaign $3,900.

Several companies — including retail development, real estate and law firms — also helped shore up Foster’s fundraising numbers. The real-estate industry dropped nearly $6,000 in his war chest, and the Tradewinds Resort in St. Pete Beach as well as law firm Morgan & Morgan each gave $500. Talk More Tampa, LLC., one of four similar retail businesses operating from an office on Second Avenue NE, chipped in a total of $2,000.

For his strong fundraising effort, Foster has spent relatively little this round. Only $2,288 went out, most of it for an advertising buy in The Weekly Challenger, the local St. Petersburg paper geared towards the African-American community. So far, the mayor’s total campaign has cost him almost $141,000.

With less than four weeks left until the Nov. 5 general election, it would be safe to agree with Foster’s assessment of the fundraising frenzy — it will not let up. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.