Saturday, May 26, 2018
Politics

Kriseman turns his fundraising focus to Pinellas sources

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayoral hopeful Rick Kriseman quieted critics Wednesday when he announced he has raised $52,000 since the Aug. 27 primary, about 75 percent of which came from Pinellas County.

Many wondered whether Kriseman would be able to raise that kind of money locally without being on a citywide ballot for six years. The former lawmaker and City Council member also collected $7,000 in in-kind donations from the Florida Democratic Party, which paid for polling and a campaign staff salary.

"This campaign has grown into a movement for St. Petersburg with more jobs, better schools, and stronger neighborhoods," Kriseman said. "The people of this city want decisive leadership from City Hall, and I am confident I will deliver that leadership as mayor."

Of the 234 individual donations, 137 listed addresses in St. Petersburg. In total, about 75 percent of all donations came from Pinellas County.

Foster blasted Kriseman in the primary for collecting money from outside the city in the nonpartisan race. He said Wednesday that he is glad Kriseman accepted his challenge to raise money locally.

"I am hopeful that he will finally use some of this money to support local businesses," Foster said. "I'm concerned that he is still beholden to special interest groups and failed Tallahassee politics, and the voters will have to decide if they want that in City Hall."

Foster would not reveal Wednesday how much money he raised in the same period. He said his finance reports would be ready Thursday. Candidates have until Friday to submit or mail them to the city clerk.

Foster did say he topped the $26,835 he collected in the two weeks that followed the 2009 primary.

Kriseman's latest report shows he has $60,487 available to spend.

At the end of August, Foster had about $37,000 on hand compared with Kriseman's $10,000.

Kriseman is a seasoned politician who has won several elections and collected more cash than Foster in the primary. (Through Aug. 22, Kriseman collected $155,684 versus Foster's $148,673.) Foster has the incumbent advantage but is facing criticism over how much he accomplished in his first four years.

Fewer than 900 votes separated them in the primary.

Contact Mark Puente at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @ markpuente.

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