Baker holds commanding cash lead in St. Pete mayor's race
With less than six weeks remaining before the Aug. 29 primary, former mayor Rick Baker has established a commanding fundraising lead of more than $230,000 over incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Kriseman, whose Sunrise political action committee started collecting money for his reelection in December 2015, has amassed $632,673 through the PAC and individual contributions after he formally announced in January.
In any other mayoral election, that would be a staggering amount. But it's not enough in #stpetemayor2017.
Baker has raised $864,124 in individual contributions and his Seamless Florida PAC since announcing in early May.
Baker also has more cash on hand after expenses: $572,653 to Kriseman’s $319, 496, according to the latest campaign filings.
The race became the most expensive in city history weeks ago.
Four other candidates on the ballot have raised far less money. Uhuru-affiliated candidate Jesse Nevel has raised $7,026 in individual contributions with slightly less than $2,000 on hand as of July 7.
Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter has raised $1,171 and spent slightly more than half, according to the latest filings.
Anthony Cates III, who tell voters that he funds his own campaign, dramatically emptying his wallet on the table at a recent mayoral forum, has netted $1,557 and spent $1,225.
Ernisa Barnwell was disqualified by City Clerk Chan Srinivasa after her check for the qualifying fee bounced. She has said she will contest that decision, but Srinivasa has said, although she’ll appear on the ballot, any votes for her won’t be counted.
Paul “The Truth” Congemi has not raised any money for his most recent bid for mayor. The fringe candidate has run twice before. Congemi told the Times that he won't accept donations.