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.