Tallahassee City Commission candidate David Bellamy has raised $190,000 so far in the most expensive local race in Leon County.
Bellamy, who is challenging Seat 3 incumbent Jeremy Matlow, raised more than $14,000 in March across 40 donations. Matlow raised $8,196 in the month across 106 donations.
Despite having only two candidates, the Seat 3 race is quickly becoming the most expensive race in the county, surpassing the amount raised across all four Leon County Commission races (which contain 18 total candidates) combined. Bellamy’s total and Matlow’s $83,000 raised so far rank second and third out of all candidates running in local races. They’re behind Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, who has pulled in more than $198,000.
The two candidates have been getting their money from very different sources. As of March, Bellamy has received 84 donations from Tallahassee businesses totaling $45,725. He also has received a total of 120 maxed-out $1,000 donations from Tallahassee residents and businesses.
Matlow has not received support from businesses, netting three business donations for $700 total. He also has a fraction of the maxed-out donations Bellamy has collected (fewer than 10 total).
Instead, Matlow has received the bulk of his funding from smaller dollar donations and supporters signed up to donate small amounts to him each month. While he has received more than 1,200 donations, he has just over 670 unique donors.
Most of his repeat donors are individuals that gave small amounts for several months in a row. Tallahassee resident Branden Rager, for example, has given Matlow $15 on the last day of every month since December 2020.
One of the $1,000 donations Matlow received this month was from the Big Bend Professional Firefighters, the Tallahassee Professional Firefighters’ PAC. The local union endorsed Matlow last month.
Bellamy told Florida Politics he thinks the support he has received is a sign people want to see a leadership style change in the seat.
“It is really exciting to see people from all walks of life in Tallahassee that want to see effective, civil leadership in City Hall and I think it is showing in our fundraising,” Bellamy said.
Matlow said he is proud to be supported by people who want to address gun violence, housing affordability and reform at City Hall.
“An unprecedented surge of grassroots donors is powering our campaign to victory,” Matlow said. “We’re thankful for all the folks who are sending a clear message: our community’s future won’t be decided by status quo power brokers, but by everyday people.”
Both candidates have been busy spending the money they have raised so far over the past several months. Bellamy has spent just north of $20,000, with Matlow close behind at $17,000.
In March, Bellamy’s major expenses were $2,720 for yard signs and $2,000 to political consultant Stephen Beasley. Matlow’s two major checks were $2,129 to the text message marketing platform Hustle and $1,602 for campaign apparel.
Both candidates will be on the ballot during the Aug. 23 Primary Election.