Two Democrats in HD 69 race raise more than $20K in January


With Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters leaving the House District 69 seat in south Pinellas County, Democrats in Tallahassee are targeting it as a possible November pickup to boost their depleted forces in the state capitol.

But which Democrat?

While Jennifer Webb has better name recognition after a 2016 bid for the seat and currently with more cash on hand than any of the candidates in the race, she’s being challenged by St. Petersburg-based attorney Javier Centonzio, who is making a statement (of sorts) with a strong first month of fundraising.

In the first week of the year, Centonzio entered the race, and has raised $21,125 in January.

However, Webb surpassed him by bringing in $25,351 for January with $60,282 raised overall since entering the contest in November. Webb also has spent very little cash to date, and now has $57,951 cash on hand, the most of any candidate.

Meanwhile, two Republicans in the contest have more modest numbers for January.

Attorney Jeremy Bailie raised $6,600 last month, for $35,659 overall.

Entrepreneur Raymond Blacklidge raised $7,171 in January — having the most in the race to date with $89,047. He also spent $33,835 since entering the contest last summer.

Combined with the $21,500 cash on hand in his political committee, Blacklidge has the most cash on hand as well, with $76,714. Webb has $57,951.

Centonzio is working with consultant Meagan Salisbury with Blue Ticket Consultant, a favorite with Tampa Bay area Democrats to help fundraise. The question observers of this race will now look at is how well he does in fundraising next month.

Webb lost to Peters, 57 percent to 43 percent in 2016.

House District 69 covers south Pinellas beach communities from Redington Shores to Fort DeSoto, as well as portions of St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Kenneth City, and Pinellas Park.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Ray Blacklidge

    February 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Dear Mitch:
    Yet another misleading story about the Florida House District 69 race? Sure I have lent my campaign money, however that should be included in my total raised of $94,547.45 and you should also add in Friends of Ray Blacklidge PC which has raised $22,500.00 for a total of $117,047.45. I also have purchased 1,000 yard signs and 9,000 door hangers and thousands of handbills. You often give the impression that I am not the lead fundraiser when in fact I am well ahead of all my opponents. Ray Blacklidge for State Representative District 69

Comments are closed.


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