Republican T.K. Waters wins February fundraising battle in Jacksonville Sheriff race
T.K. Waters could be the next sheriff. Image via AG Gancarski.

Waters Rutherford Williams
Slow month for Democrat Lakesha Burton as Ken Jefferson enters contest.

Republican T.K. Waters closed February with the best cash-on-hand position in the six-way Jacksonville Sheriff’s race.

Waters, one of two Republicans currently running and the current chief of investigations for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, has roughly $235,000 in his campaign account and about $565,000 in his registered political committee, A Safer Jacksonville for All.

He raised $48,900 in February, including $40,000 to the political committee. Among the donors: Michael Munz, who gave $5,000 to the Safer account. Waters is the choice of establishment Republicans, including current term-limited Sheriff Mike Williams and his predecessor, Congressman John Rutherford.

Close behind Waters still is Democrat Lakesha Burton. The assistant chief and zone commander had dominated fundraising for most of the race, but efforts sputtered in February.

Burton raised a total of $10,320 last month, all of it in hard money. She has just under $125,000 on hand in her campaign account, while her political committee Make Every Voice Count has roughly $638,000 on hand, with none of that raised in February.

Four other candidates have filed, with three of them demonstrably struggling to keep pace with the financial front-runners.

In that group, Republican Mat Nemeth is the only one showing much fundraising momentum.

The JSO chief has about $55,000 on hand in his campaign account after raising $5,150 in February, with donations coming in from former Jacksonville City Council Member Jim Love and Seber Newsome of Yulee.

Nemeth has burned through about a third of his fundraising, but that’s a relatively modest burn rate compared to that of Democrat Wayne Clark, who has raised just under $30,000 and spent three-fourths of it thus far. He raised $200.60 in February, giving little cause for optimism.

Also struggling to fundraise is repeat candidate Tony Cummings, another Democrat who has amassed $277 to this point in the campaign.

There is a wild card, however. A fourth Democrat, former JSO spox Ken Jefferson, is running again. He has yet to report any fundraising activity.

More candidates could manifest, at least in theory. Qualifying for the 2023 election isn’t until January. The March First Election sees all candidates square off, with the top two finishers advancing to the General Election in May unless someone gets a majority of votes in March.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Seber Newsome III

    March 16, 2022 at 11:54 am

    Yes I donated to Mat Nemeth’s campaign.

Comments are closed.


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