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Will Newton raises double that of opponent Lisa Wheeler-Brown

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Numbers are in for the first round of fundraising during the District 7 City Council race between Will Newton and Lisa Wheeler-Brown and it doesn’t look good for Wheeler-Brown.

Newton raked in more than $21,000 between August 17 and September 13. That’s nearly double the $10,813 Wheeler-Brown’s campaign brought in during the same period.

The latest numbers also show that Newton, who has been campaigning for far less time than Wheeler-Brown, has surpassed her in total fundraising numbers with $47,670 compared to her total contributions of $43,844.

Newton also has almost doubled the cash-on-hand as his opponent. Newton still has nearly $22,000 to play with during the final two months of campaigning while Wheeler-Brown only has about $12,000.

More than half of Newton’s contributions came from Pinellas County and all but about four percent came from Florida. Newton’s fundraising trend of pulling in union dollars from firefighter and police groups continued this reporting period.

He received maximum $1,000 contributions from The Pinellas County Professional Firefighters, the FLAME firefighter PAC based in St. Pete, the Florida Police Benevolent Association Justice PAC in Tallahassee, Florida PBA Law & Order PAC, the Boca Raton Public Safety PAC and the Florida Fire PAC.

Meanwhile, most of Wheeler-Brown’s contributions stemmed from members of the community. Wheeler-Brown also pulled in a $1,000 contribution from incumbent City Council member Karl Nurse and another $1,000 from his company, BayTech Label.

Nurse and his company had already donated maximum contributions to Wheeler-Brown during the primary. Because candidates are now squaring off in the general election, donors can donate again.

Wheeler-Brown also enjoyed contributions from Democratic groups including the local Stonewall Democrats. Former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink also contributed to her campaign.

Newton and Wheeler-Brown face each other at the ballot box November 3. Mail ballots go to oversees and military voters beginning today. Mail ballots will be sent to domestic voters who requested them beginning September 29.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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