April 9, 2024

Florida Politics

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Mike Harting, the co-owner of Three Daughters Brewing who is running for St. Petersburg City Council in District 3, has raised $41,810 in his first month on the campaign trail, according to new campaign finance reports covering the first quarter of 2024.

“I’m proud of the strong support our truly independent campaign has gained in just our first month,” Harting said.

“Raising my three daughters and starting multiple successful businesses in St. Petersburg has provided me valuable insights into critical issues facing our city. I’ll work hard to make our neighborhoods affordable again, support law enforcement, protect our clean water, and attract good jobs. I’m honored that so many residents support our plan to create great opportunities for every family in our city.”

With just over $5,000 in expenditures as of the end of March, Harting is left with more than $36,000.

Fundraising reports aren’t due to the city of St. Petersburg Clerk until Wednesday, but some reports are already in.

The numbers are self-reported, so details about who donated won’t be available until official reports become public. But based on reports that are available, and self-reported fundraising numbers from one of Harting’s opponents, affordable housing activist Nick Carey, it puts Harting in a competitive position in the crowded field. Carey reported raising just shy of $41,000.

Juan Lopez Estevez, a Democrat running with support from establishment Democrats such as former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and former St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, leads Harting in fundraising, with more than $46,000. But $20,500 of that was a personal loan to his campaign, and he has spent nearly $12,000, leaving him with less cash on hand than both Harting and Carey.

Pete Boland, a Republican and local restaurateur, has raised less than $13,000. It is worth noting, however, that Boland expects his fundraising to amp up in the second quarter. After announcing his bid in early February, Boland spent his time preparing for Paddy Fest in St. Pete, a two-day festival celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and got married.

Barry Rubin, a Democrat running on a conservative platform, has not yet filed his campaign finance reports for the first quarter.

Harting’s fundraising includes a $5,000 self-contribution, as well as several maxed-out $1,000 contributions.

Top donors include Backstreets Capital, Bruce Harting, William Stover, Will ConroyNeil Kiefer, Pat Harting, Fred Forsley, Tom SansoneStacy Conroy, Ben Gelston, Leigh Harting (Harting’s wife), Scott WagmanZack Coopersmith, Foursher Partnership, Amy LettelleirJeff Freedman, Cory Gaffney, Kilroy Financial Services, Jeff Brandes, HMC Hospitality Group, Gilbert DigiannantonioEdward Droste, Keith Jarrett, and Monica Cunningham.

Almost all of the contributions are from St. Petersburg, with a handful of Tampa Bay area contributors from Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Tampa. Harting took in two contributions from Miami and one from Tallahassee. Only five contributors were from out of state.

Not counting Harting’s $5,000 self-contribution, his average donation came to just under $449.

Other notable contributions to Harting’s campaign include $500 each from Teak, a restaurant at the St. Pete Pier, and the Birchwood, a downtown hotel, restaurant and bar.

Jim Rimes, a Tallahassee-based political consultant who typically works with Republicans (Harting is an independent), contributed $500.

Harting’s expenditures include a $1,000 contribution to Supernova Digital Communications, a social media and communications firm; nearly $660 to Election Management Solutions for printing; $330 for voter data; $380 for campaign compliance work; $500 to Coastal Creative Productions for video production; more than $760 to Helinger Advertising; and a just under $1,170 reimbursement to Harting for food and beverage expenses at his campaign kickoff event.

Harting and his opponents are running to succeed incumbent City Council member Ed Montanari who is facing term limits and is instead running for state House. Montanari is the only Republican on the current City Council, though seats are technically nonpartisan.