St. Pete City Council candidate Will Newton continues to bridge the funding gap between himself and Lisa Wheeler-Brown in their match up for District 7.
Wheeler-Brown has raised about $6,400 more than Newton. But, with only about $8,000 left of her overall $33,000 haul, Wheeler-Brown actually has less cash on hand than Newton.
Newton has raised a total of $26,615 so far. He’s spent about $17,000 of that leaving him with almost $9,500 left in the bank.
And Newton seems to have more funding momentum than Wheeler-Brown. He’s outraised her the past two campaign finance reporting periods. During the latest period running from August 3-16, Newton raised $5,050 compared to Wheeler-Brown’s $3,620.
However, while the tides may be turning based on cash-on-hand and fundraising momentum, Wheeler-Brown may be enjoying more community support than Newton.
The bulk of Newton’s contributions continue to be from outside groups – predominately firefighter groups. For example, during the latest reporting period Newton brought in $1,000 contributions from the Broward Professional firefighters, the Metro Broward firefighters PAC and the Hillsborough Fire Action Committee.
The Gainesville Professional Firefighters and the Orange County Fire PAC each contributed $250.
Meanwhile, Wheeler-Brown’s contributions rolled in sometimes just $10 at a time from members of the community and St. Pete residents. The only large contribution Wheeler-Brown brought in this reporting period came from the Florida SEIU who contributed $1,000 to her campaign.
In a Tampa Bay Times analysis of overall contributions among all candidates, Wheeler-Brown’s were the most local and Newton’s were the least.
The two candidates are fighting for one of two spots in the November 3 General Election that will be decided during Tuesday’s Primary Election in District 7. Another challenger, Sheila Scott-Griffin threatens to knock one of the two fundraising frontrunners out of contention.
In a poll conducted by St. Pete Polls for SaintPetersblog in late July, Scott-Griffin was actually polling ahead of Wheeler-Brown. Newton led the pack with 25 percent. Scott-Griffin trailed with 18 percent and Wheeler-Brown just 12 percent.
Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens both came in with single-digit support.
Scott-Griffin’s latest campaign finance reports have not been received at City Hall so are unavailable at this time. However, her last report indicated she had raised just over $7,000.
Sharpe is Fourth in fundraising. He brought in $350 during the latest reporting period to bring his total contributions to $5,055. Of that he has spent $3,532. Sharpe received a $250 contribution from St. Pete City Council chair Charlie Gerdes who has endorsed him. Last reporting period Gerdes contributed $100 to Scott-Griffin. Sharpe also received two $50 contributions from St. Pete residents Edwin McBride and Donna Hoover.
Lewis Stephens raised $125 during the most recent reporting period. He’s raised a total of just $821 of which he has spent $618.
Polls open Tuesday in District 7 at 7:00 a.m. They close at 7:00 p.m. The General Election will be open citywide.