Bay County Commissioner Philip “Griff” Griffitts has raised more than $100,000 in his bid to represent House District 6.
The Griffitts campaign announced Wednesday that it raised $15,000 in June, bringing his cash raised into six figures. Official filings made public Friday showed Griffitts with a $21,750 haul, his largest earning since March. That month, he first announced plans to succeed Rep. Jay Trumbull, a fellow Republican.
“We are pleased beyond words to have another strong showing of support for our campaign,” Griffitts said. “But we are taking nothing for granted, and over the next several weeks, we will be announcing support from key community leaders who are endorsing our campaign.”
Only one other candidate is currently in the HD 6 race, performing arts executive Brian Clowdus. Clowdus, also a Republican, was the founder and artistic director of the Serenbe Playhouse, once praised as a pioneering theater in Atlanta, before he was accused of overt racism.
Clowdus, who has been a significant voice in the MAGA community and a volunteer with Gays For Trump, had only raised $8,257 through May. While he hasn’t posted his June contributions yet, Griffitts’ fundraising pace and community support make him a front-runner in the race, which will likely be decided in the 2022 Primary, set for August of that year.
Griffitts and his brother are co-owners of a home construction business after recently completing a successful sale of their hotel and hospitality business based in Panama City Beach. Griffitts’ father, Philip Griffitts Sr., was the city’s Mayor from 1982 to 2000. He died late last year after a COVID-19 infection.
Several of Griffitts’ donors include law firms and members of the housing industry in the Panhandle. The majority have also been $1,000 donations, the maximum possible.
Donors include Trumbull and Sen. George Gainer, a Panama City Republican.
By comparison, Clowdus has received funds from a comparable number of supporters, but in smaller donations from a pool of nationwide supporters.
Griffitts’ campaign touted achieving the $100,000 mark more than a year out from Election Day as evidence of his supporters’ depth and breadth.
Upon launching his bid for HD 6 in March, Griffitts highlighted his experience in private enterprise, which he said would help him stay connected to citizens, consumers and small businesses. Lowering taxes, reducing regulations, and restoring Bay County topped his list of priorities. He also touts himself as a stalwart supporter of former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Panama City business owner Grey Dodge was another challenger in the HD 6 race, but he dropped out to support Griffitts after the latter’s announcement.
HD 6 covers all coastal Bay County, including Panama City, Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven and Mexico Beach. It has a heavy Republican advantage.
On the Bay County Commission, Griffitts represents District 5, which encompasses all of Panama City Beach. He is also the immediate past chairman of the County Commission.
Trumbull, of Panama City, has represented the district since 2014. He served as the House’s budget chief during the 2021 Session and is expected to do so again for 2022. However, he cannot run for reelection next year because of term limits.
“Rep. Jay Trumbull has done an outstanding job representing our values in the Legislature, and I am committed to maintaining that legacy for a stronger Bay County,” Griffitts said.
Trumbull raised more than $325,000 during the 2014 cycle when he won a four-way Republican Primary with 43% of the vote. Griffitts’ earnings put him ahead of Trumbull’s pace in money raised.