St. Pete City Council candidate Will Newton has outraised his opponent by nearly $10,000. That’s after outraising her by nearly $1,200 during the latest reporting period between October 5 and 18.
So far, Newton has raked in more than $62,000 since announcing his candidacy in June. Lisa Wheeler-Brown has raised $55,634 even though she entered the race six months before him.
The difference lies in the lopsided prevalence in high-dollar contributions. Newton has continuously raked in money from outside groups. During the latest report period that included maximum $1,000 contributions from the Metro Broward Firefighters PAC and the Broward Professional Firefighters CCE.
Meanwhile, Wheeler-Brown has earned some high-dollar contributions as well. This reporting period she brought in $1,000 from the SEUI Florida Political Committee. Her biggest donor has been City Council member Karl Nurse. He personally donated $1,000 during both the primary and general election campaigns and matched both of those contributions through his business, BayTech Label, for a total of $4,000 contributions.
But where Wheeler-Brown is falling short in terms of large contributions, she is surging in smaller, community-based contributions, with the majority of her contributions coming from small donations from residents.
This reporting period Wheeler-Brown raised $250 from a student, Alan Olson. Pier Park supporter Stephen Urgo donated $50 while St. Pete business owner Dan Fiorini wrote a check for $300. Former Department of Education board member and political powerhouse Kathleen Shanahan donated $250.
That doesn’t mean Newton isn’t also bringing in local contributions. The latest reporting period showed several contributions of $100 or less from locals.
Newton spent more than his opponent most recently. He forked out more than $10,000, mostly on mailers. And in full disclosure, he also spent $900 on advertising with Extensive Enterprises, the parent company of this blog.
Wheeler-Brown spent just over half that, also on mailers. She spent $6,000.
The difference in spending is indicative of the two candidates’ cash-on-hand numbers. Newton still has more than $12,000 in the bank while Wheeler-Brown has just a little over $3,000.
The two face each other at the polls November 3. However, it’s expected that more than half of voters who will cast a ballot in this election have already done so by mail.
The most recent poll surveying voters about their support between Newton and Wheeler-Brown showed the race too-close to call with Wheeler-Brown leading within the margin of error.