Jeremy Matlow watches on during a rally to support legislative congressional maps which maintain Rep. Al Lawson's representation of people in Leon County.

5 Takeaways on Matlow vs. Bellamy Race: Lobbyists Invest in Bellamy’s Campaign

Influential State Lobbyists Showing Clear Interest in David Bellamy over Jeremy Matlow. The race continues to outpace others in fundraising.

// March 17, 2022,

12:12 pm

Updated:March 27, 2022


Tallahassee City Commission, Seat 3 Fundraising Analysis as of February 2022, Rendering by Our Tallahassee.

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow listens during Seminole Boosters vote during the February 24th, Blueprint Meeting. Photo by Ryan Rezaian, Our Tallahassee

If money is the mother’s milk of politics — as former California Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh famously said — then the race for Tallahassee City Commission – Seat 3 is starting to resemble a freezer full of the stuff – a very large freezer.


Two candidates in the race, Jeremy Matlow and David Bellamy, have already raised over $270,000 combined, as the story is being written, and have spent roughly $14,000 each. 

While there are still months to go in the race (if no one else enters the race could be decided in the primary election in August) there are some interesting trends developing based on campaign finance reports.

David Bellamy huddles with Political Consultant Greg James, who is also a Pastor, and Mayor John Dailey. Photo by Our Tallahassee.

  • Legislation that forced Tallahassee to raise its maximum contribution threshold from $250 to $1000 per person/entity has greatly benefited the Seat 3 Challenger Bellamy. He has raised more than double Matlow’s total: $186,795 to $86,948.88.
    • Bellamy has received well over 100 maximum $1000 contributions while Matlow has received seven maximum donations.
  • Both Matlow and Bellamy are registered as Democrats, but their donor bases appear fairly divergent:
    • Matlow shows dozens of prominent local Democrats (Jeffrey Mandel, Gerri Seay, Delaitre Hollinger, Kevin Carpenter, Debbie Lightsey, Darwin Gamble, Steve Been) on his contributor list while Bellamy shows few (Dean LeBoeuf).
    • Bellamy shows dozens of prominent Republican business owners and real estate/developer types.
  • Bellamy continues to show substantial support from the Republican lobbyist community following a December report in Our Tallahassee on the subject.
    • Republican super-lobbyists Nick Iarossi, Brewster Bevis (Associated Industries of Florida), John Thrasher and Fred Baggett all chipped in heavily.
      • How does Our Tallahassee determine a super-lobbyist? It’s very precise. If you have a better than even chance of having the Governor return your call on the weekend, you’re a super-lobbyist.
  • Matlow still holds a heavy lead in the number of individual donors with just over 1100 contributions compared with Bellamy’s total of just over 500.
  • Bellamy appears to have locked up the Tallahassee car dealership community with Ruth and Les Akers and Peter Boulware (Toyota); the Krafts (Nissan, Infiniti); and Chuck Urban (Tallahassee Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep) all giving a contribution(s).

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4 Responses

  1. Unless the Rule has changed, if there are only Two Candidates in a Race, they will NOT be on the Primary Ballot. That’s how it was when I ran against Mary Ann Lindley back in 2016.

  2. Dailey and Bellamy are FOR Blueprint infrastructure dollars going to FSU Stadium seats… they are fooling no one and their chances of successful campaigns…ZERO.

    Money no longer matters, in fact this was proven in the recent races in Virginia and New Jersey; voters find Mega/Special Interests donors obscene and vulgar and are voting for integrity, experience, and Humanity.

    Bellamy made a critical error if he wanted to be successful in politics and if he really wanted to make a change he should have challenged DAILEY.

    I will purchase my next luxury vehicle in Jacksonville, Sarasota, or Thomasville.

    Bellamy and Dailey are riding the wave of the Chamber Cultists and the Sky Box owners at FSU and this will not translate into the votes. Voters are outraged after the recent Blueprint vote and will come out in force.

  3. The race for Mattlow and Daily seats are setting up further and more distinctive devision in our community. It’s not a case of Democrats vs Republicans, it’s a decision business as usual vs ethical (transparent) government. Our voters need to support the latter!

  4. Regarding Matlow’s seat. What’s the last date a Republican can file to run for it? If Doc Shillamy causes a voting split between Dems, couldnt a Repub puppet win it just on party lines without spending much. I won’t be surprised if that’s what has been planned all along.

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