Bay County Commissioner Griff Griffitts continues to hold a dominating fundraising lead over theater professional Brian Clowdus. And he’s not spending money at nearly as fast a rate.
Griffitts, the leading Republican in House District 6, pulled in $12,600 in September, most of that through large donations from Panama City-based businesses. That brought his total monetary contributions to $131,615. Moreover, he has spent little of that and still holds $129,479 in cash on hand.
Clowdus, meanwhile, raised $1,717 in September and has pulled in around $20,626 over the course of the campaign. And unlike Griffitts, he has spent most of it and has just $7,469 in the bank.
The two Republicans will face off next August in a Republican primary in the deep-red district in hopes of succeeding Rep. Jay Trumbull, who cannot seek another term thanks to term limits.
Griffitts enjoyed front-runner status since jumping into the race in March and has picked up the endorsement of political leaders such as U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn and Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki. That has translated into serious financial power.
In September, he cashed $1,000 donations each from Panama City real estate professionals Cumi and Gary Walsingham and another from civic leader Gayle Paynter. Prominent lobbyist Ron Book also made a maximum donation. The Jesus Suarez-chaired People for Ethical Government and Building Better Conservatism political committees also wrote big checks.
Clowdus, meanwhile, reported only small donations this month, though he had more of them with 29 donors in total. The largest contribution, for $250, came from Atlanta-based health care professional Benjamin Wheeler. Clowdus, before moving to the Panhandle, was a prominent theater director in the greater Atlanta area.
He has made a name for himself since in far-right circles, in part producing shows through GOProductions that feature prominent conservative personalities like James O’Keefe.
To date, no Democrats have filed to run in this district, where Trumball last won reelection with 72% of the vote. All political boundaries will be redrawn this year by the GOP-controlled Legislature.