Robert Blackmon raises $21K in first week of mayoral campaign

Blackmon, Robert - 2
It's a strong start, but Blackmon has a lot of ground to gain.

St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon raised $21,500 in his first week of campaigning for Mayor, according to his first finance report filed with the city.

Blackmon filed for the race on May 25. The financial report covers the month of May, meaning his first haul came over the course of just six days.

Still, he has a lot of ground to cover. Front-runners Darden Rice, a colleague on City Council, and former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch are far ahead with campaign cash.

Rice leads the field in fundraising, with nearly $198,000 raised for her official campaign and another $358,000 in her affiliated political committee, Friends of Darden Rice.

But Rice began her voter contact program earlier than any other candidate in the race, which has burned through some of her cash. As of the most recent reports, Rice has about $374,000 of her funds remaining.

Welch, meanwhile, has raised $123,000 in his campaign and $159,000 in his affiliated political committee, Pelican PAC. He has about $244,000 remaining.

Blackmon has spent less than $300 on credit card processing fees but retains less than $20,000 in the bank. Blackmon’s political committee, Prosperous St. Petersburg, has not yet reported any contributions or expenditures. It was not established until this month, which means financial reports won’t be filed until next month.

Blackmon’s campaign brought in 15 top-dollar $1,000 contributions. Those donors include the Young Floridians for Opportunity PAC, which promotes conservative, business-minded candidates like Blackmon, LEMA Construction, Hartney Realty & Development, Carolee Blackmon, and others.

Other conservative donors include Daureen Caudell, a Republican former Clearwater City Council member, St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees member Deveron Gibbons, and Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters.

In all, Blackmon received 38 individual contributions.

Neither Rice nor Welch have yet turned in updated financial reports covering May activity.

The candidates all face off in the citywide Primary Election on Aug. 24. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 2 General Election.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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