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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rice sets a new fundraising record for St. Pete City Council



ST. PETERSBURG - In her second bid for a seat on the City Council, Darden Rice has smashed the fundraising record set in 2009 by City Council member Steve Kornell.

In truth, Rice accomplished this before the Aug. primary, when her campaign’s financial reports showed she’d raised $75,000, besting Kornell’s top haul of $71,000.

But the latest numbers, which reflect fundraising from after the primary until Sept. 13, make Kornell’s record a distant memory.

Rice’s campaign has raised a total of $95,370, an eye-popping number for a candidate who is already relatively well-known in the city’s political circles and is not running for office in an election year when she’d have to compete for attention. It’s also far more than she brought in when she was somewhat of a newcomer. In 2005, the first time she ran for Council, she raised nearly $53,000.

To date, Carolyn Fries, Rice’s opponent in the District 4 race, has raised nearly $14,000.

"Breaking the fundraising record for St. Pete City Council campaigns shows the strength of Darden Rice as a candidate," her campaign manager, Nick Janovsky, said in a statement. "The campaign has a broad appeal because of our common sense approach to getting results. The record was set from setting goals, months of hard work, and Darden connecting with St. Pete residents."

Rice's reports show that union support has also played an important role in the campaign's fundraising, as well as groups like the city’s chamber of commerce and Ruth’s List Florida, which helps elect Democratic women to office.

The city clerk’s office has yet to post the full details of her, and several other candidates’, fundraising online.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 1:38pm]


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