With scant weeks left before Election Day, it appears the next Mayor of Fernandina Beach, a town with a median age of 55, may well be younger than 30. City Commissioner Bradley Bean is one of the Commissioners who are eligible to run for the post, and the only one of two filed candidates who has raised or spent any money on the effort.
One of Fernandina’s stranger governing rules is that the Mayor can only be someone who is already an elected Commissioner, but whose seat is not up for election that same year. Current Mayor Mike Lednovich is running for re-election to his Commission seat, and therefore is ineligible to run again for Mayor.
Both Bean’s and Commissioner David Sturges’ terms end in 2024, so the door was open to run for Mayor if they so chose, which they did. However, Sturges has yet to file one campaign finance report this cycle, essentially saying he’s raised no money and spent no money so far, with Election Day coming up like a car speeding down State Road 200.
Bean, however, mounted a traditional campaign effort. In September, he received contributions from The Fiorentino Group of $500, and Commissioner-elect Justin Taylor of the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of $150, among the overall $1,550 he picked up over the month.
Bean has raised more than $7,200 for the cycle and spent nearly $6,000 going into October. Almost $2,000 went to Intracoastal Media Group of Jacksonville on Sept. 21 for campaign videos. Bean also spent around $470 each — give or take a few dollars — for car magnets at Design It and signs at FastSigns, both in Fernandina. There was also $110 for an ad in the News-Leader newspaper, and small amounts spent at Lowe’s for sign supplies.
In a 60-second ad posted Oct. 14, Bean lays out what he sees as accomplishments over the past couple years, and his vision for the city.
“I stood with you to keep the character of Central Park for our children and families,” Bean says. “I protected the music downtown by revamping the sound ordinance. And I fought against, and will continue to fight against, paid parking both at our beautiful beaches and downtown.”
He’s running, he said, to stop new tax increases while protecting the city’s quality of life.