Bobbie Shay Lee closing in on Copley Gerdes in fundraising race

Gerdes, Lee

Former lobbyist and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader Bobbie Shay Lee is closing in on financial planner Copley Gerdes, at least in the fundraising department, as the two face off for the St. Petersburg City Council District 1 seat.

Lee outraised Gerdes in the most recent campaign finance report, which covered the two week period of Sept. 11 through Sept. 24. In that time, Lee raised $12,750 while Gerdes collected $9,770.

Gerdes is still the top fundraiser, raking in $64,985 since he launched his campaign. Lee has raised $56,315 total.

In the most recent period, Lee reported 40 donors to her campaign, including six $1,000 donations from organizations including Committee to Protect Florida PC, Universal Land Acquisition, LLC and Big 3 Entertainment LLC, as well as from real estate professionals like Lester Porter and William Edwards.

Lee also reported a donation from a trust affiliated with Rep. Linda Chaney, a Pinellas County Republican.

Lee spent $9,483 this past reporting period, with over $7,600 going to postage, and the remaining scattered among printing and processing fees.

Lee will enter the next reporting period with $13,241 cash on hand.

Gerdes saw 23 donors in his latest report, including seven $1,000 donations from three different realtor political committees and two local unions. Friends of Gina Driscoll, a political committee associated with the incumbent city council member, also donated $1,000.

Gerdes dished out $9,690 this period, spending about $8,000 on advertising and the remainder on processing fees and consulting services.

Gerdes will enter the next reporting period with $10,897 cash on hand.

The District 1 seat opened after City Council member Robert Blackmon resigned to run for Mayor.

Gerdes is currently polling ahead of Lee, with the survey showing 24% of respondents supporting Gerdes, who is the son of former City Council member Charlie Gerdes, while 20% back Lee. Still, 56% are still unsure.

Lee and Gerdes ended the Primary Election neck and neck, both taking 34% of the vote, leaving close polling data not much of a surprise in what was already expected to be a competitive race.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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