Former FSU President John Thrasher endorses Tallahassee City Commission candidate David Bellamy

Dr. David Bellamy ART
Bellamy is challenging incumbent Jeremy Matlow for Seat 3 of the Tallahassee City Commission.

Former Florida State University President John Thrasher has endorsed David Bellamy in the Tallahassee City Commission Seat 3 Primary Election.

“After I was appointed President of FSU, it did not take long for Jean and I to call Tallahassee Home,” Thrasher said in a prepared statement.

“There is something special about this city. The spirit of the people who live here and the natural beauty that seamlessly fits into a thriving city in the South. Appreciating those things are why we are strongly supporting David Bellamy for the city commission. What makes Tallahassee special must be nurtured and maintained. The future we all hope for will be safe in the capable hands of David Bellamy.”

Thrasher, a Republican, served in both chambers of the Florida Legislature for decades, spending a term as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. From 2010 to 2011 Thrasher was the Chair of the Republican Party of Florida. He began his tenure as FSU President in 2014 until stepping down in 2021 and returning to lobbying firm The Southern Group.

Bellamy, an orthopedic surgeon and part-time police officer, filed to run against incumbent Jeremy Matlow back in October 2021. Matlow, who owns the pizza business Gaines Street Pies, was first elected to the City Commission in 2018, narrowly defeating Lisa Brown.

Matlow has been openly critical of the $27 million economic development grant to upgrade FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium.

“It’s no surprise that supporters of the reckless $27 million Doak Campbell Stadium giveaway at Blueprint, extremist Republicans and the transactional revolving-door Adams Street lobbyist crowd support our opponent,” Matlow said in response to the Thrasher endorsement.

“In fact, that’s (Bellamy’s) base. We’re looking forward to continuing our path to victory and are proud to have the endorsements from the people that work hard every day for Tallahassee, including the Tallahassee Firefighters, Leon Classroom Teachers and Big Bend Labor Council among others.”

Bellamy and Matlow appeared to agree on some issues in last month’s debate at the Capital Tiger Bay Club.

Though both candidates are Democrats, the Aug. 23 Primary Election is nonpartisan. In February, Bellamy defended past donations he made to prominent Republicans, including Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. He donated $2,700 to former Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed 2016 presidential campaign.

Last month Bellamy racked up over $25,000 in contributions, spending over $43,000. His campaign spent $23,931 on advertising and over $11,000 on signs, according to campaign finance records.

The Matlow campaign, meanwhile, raised over $8,000 in mostly small donations last month. Records show the campaign spent $2,000 on video production on July 1.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.


  • Hoops McCann

    July 13, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Wow so you’re telling me a senile career politician from the 80s and hardcore Republican lobbyist supports Bellamy. I’m almost starting to think his $11,000 worth of “Because progress matters” yard signs are an insulting and fraudulent attempt to trick progressive tallahassee voters into voting for a right wing puppet

  • Please clap

    July 13, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Bellamy and Thrasher met each other while supporting Jeb! Bush for president in 2016.

    Weird place for anyone trying to successfully elect anyone, much less on Tallahassee’s deep-blue local commission.

  • David Hawkins

    July 14, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    It’s not like Thrasher is that strong of a person, he happily allowed the BLM to tear down the FSU Statues, didn’t even put up a smidge of a Fight.

  • Elliott Offen

    July 16, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Vote RED for wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen.

    Vote RED for a culture of greed, racism, incivility, and politicized religion.

    Vote RED for never ending low wage exploitation and capitalist scams.

    Vote RED for get out of jail free for the rich and prison for the poor

    Vote RED for domestic terrorism to eliminate government so that the hogs can grift Americans into slavery.

    Vote RED for ancient Roman plutocracy in the name of Christ.

  • Edward Lyle

    July 16, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Tallahassee is one seat away from becoming Chicago. Nightly b-on-b death counts are rising and become common place.

    Vote with your head people.

Comments are closed.


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