Jeremy Matlow re-elected to second term as Tallahassee City Commissioner

The Matlow and David Bellamy campaigns were embroiled in a bitter war of words.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow has defeated David Bellamy to keep Seat 3 for a second term.

With all 80 precincts reporting, Matlow received 55.7% of the vote over Bellamy’s 44.2%.

“We’re humbled and very overwhelmed by the big victory the people of Tallahassee gave us tonight,” Matlow said. “Let it be a lesson to the Chamber, big developers, grifting consultants and incumbent special interests — Tallahassee is not for sale. Everyday people can and will win the future of our community, just like they did tonight.”

Bellamy said he called Matlow to congratulate him on his re-election.

“I’m proud that our campaign put together a diverse and broad coalition, and I want to thank every member of my team including our wonderful group of volunteers,” Bellamy said. “We poured our heart and souls into it. Obviously, my commitment to giving back to Tallahassee doesn’t end today.”

The Matlow and Bellamy campaigns were embroiled in a war of words in the weeks leading up to the election. Last week, Bellamy filed an election violation complaint against Matlow over radio ads he said wrongly suggested that he was a Republican running as a Democrat.

The original 30-second spot featured the voice of a local pastor saying Bellamy voted for and donated to former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In the complaint, Bellamy contended the ad’s claims were false and that he has been a registered Democrat since 1988. He argued that because it was a nonpartisan race, directing voters not to elect someone based on party affiliation was a violation of state election laws.

The Matlow campaign pulled the ad and replaced it with another one that still advised listeners not to vote for Bellamy, saying Bellamy “acts like a Republican” and that Republicans had donated to his campaign.

Bellamy, an orthopedic surgeon, entered the race in October 2021 to unseat Matlow, who owns the pizza business Gaines Street Pies and was first elected in 2018.

Bellamy was the only candidate to challenge Matlow and denied allegations the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce recruited him. The Chamber and Matlow have locked horns. So much so, State Attorney Jack Campbell called for Matlow’s ouster during a fiery Tallahassee Chamber annual conference speech a year ago.

Matlow was endorsed by former Tallahassee Mayor Dot Inman-Johnson, Tallahassee Professional Firefighters, property appraiser Akin Akinyemi and lawyer Ben Crump.

Bellamy’s endorsements included former Florida State University President John Thrasher, the Big Bend Police Benevolent Association and Grow Tallahassee.

Matlow raised nearly $10,000 in August and spent about $20,000. His campaign spent $3,000 on TV ads on Aug. 15.

In August Bellamy raised over $23,000 and spent over $44,000. He loaned himself $10,000 on Aug. 16.

The annual salary for the office is $41,972.

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.


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