Ken Welch triples Robert Blackmon in latest fundraising push

Blackmon, Welch
The two are amping up spending with less than a month left until the November election.

St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Ken Welch tripled opponent Robert Blackmon’s fundraising in the latest campaign finance reporting period, which covers Sept. 11 through Sept. 24.

Welch’s campaign raised $75,800 in that time frame, according to finance reports, while Blackmon collected $21,365. The latest fundraising report comes a month after the pair ousted six other candidates in the August Primary Election and advanced to the General Election.

With consistent large gains, Welch has maintained his spot on top in the fundraising race.

Welch reported 184 donors in the latest finance report, including 49 $1,000 donations from businesses such as Sunset Watch Development LLC, Inn on the Beach LLC, Marina Bay Development LLC, Miller Electric Company and Blue Sky Communities LLC.

Welch’s campaign also reported $1,000 contributions from political committees including the Realtors Political Activity Committee, the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association PAC and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 123 PAC.

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long also gave $250 to Welch’s campaign this past reporting period, and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman donated $100.

Welch’s campaign spent $48,907 in the most recent period, with pressure building as the Nov. 2 election approaches. About $40,000 went to consulting services, $3,000 to field services, about $1,000 to processing fees and $1,000 to printing.

Welch also has a political committee, Pelican PAC, which provides monthly finance reports. While the September report is not due until Oct. 12, in August, the PAC raised $92,838.

Between his campaign and political committee, Welch has raised a total of $740,667 and has spent $610,986, leaving him with $129,681 on hand with less than a month left until the election.

Blackmon’s campaign reported 50 donors in the same period, including 13 $1,000 donations, including from Young Floridians for Opportunity PAC, Pinch a Penny Inc., Mabel & McLaughlin LLC and the Cepcot Co.

Blackmon spent $24,897 in the last two week period, with $16,525 going to a media buy likely for his recently released ad, ‘Together.’ He also reported a nearly $7,000 reimbursement to his father, James Blackmon, in his spending report; however, it does not detail what the reimbursement is for.

Blackmon also has a political committee, Prosperous St. Petewhich raised $33,400 in August.

So far, Blackmon has raised a total of $385,800 between his campaign and affiliated committee and has spent $349,754, leaving him with $36,046 on hand heading into the next period.

Despite lower fundraising totals, Blackmon proved to have the most bang for his buck in the Primary Election, spending about $3 less per vote than Welch.

The two will go head to head in the upcoming General Election on Nov. 2. Both are running to replace Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is leaving office due to term limits and has endorsed Welch as his successor.

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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