Palm Beach County Commission candidate Michelle McGovern raised just under $17,000 in August as she seeks to replace outgoing Commissioner Melissa McKinlay in District 6.
That haul put McGovern atop the four-person field, which includes Democratic Rep. Matt Willhite. McGovern is also a Democrat, as is Sylvia L. Sharps. Sara Baxter is the lone Republican candidate to file for the contest so far.
Willhite took in the second-highest fundraising total in August, adding just under $8,500. Baxter raised $3,100, while Sharps collected just over $1,100.
McGovern has raised the most money since entering the contest in April. She announced her bid along with an endorsement from McKinlay and several other lawmakers. More elected officials have gathered behind McGovern in the weeks since.
But despite the strong fundraising operation, Willhite retains a lead in cash on hand. That’s because he entered the contest with plenty of cash available in his political committee, Floridians for Public Safety.
Willhite has about a $60,000 cash on hand advantage. He’s sitting on just under $181,000 between his campaign account and his PC. McGovern holds just under $121,000.
Baxter and Sharps are well behind the two presumed front-runners in terms of fundraising. Sharps has just under $5,800 on hand, while Baxter retains just under $5,400
Willhite topped the field in July fundraising. A former firefighter, Willhite has been able to tap into the firefighter community, including several political organizations, for cash. He won his third term in the House this past November but is passing on a fourth and final term to pursue the District 6 Commission seat.
McGovern is a veteran of former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s office. She spent more than a decade working as Nelson’s regional director in West Palm Beach. She then served as Nelson’s state director.
Sharps works as a counselor and mentor, while Baxter is a real estate agent.
Palm Beach County Commission District 6 includes the communities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay. Candidates and political committees faced a Friday deadline to report all financial activity through Aug. 31.