Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson has now raised more than $60,000 in support of his campaign to be Pensacola’s next mayor, according to campaign finance reports.
Robinson announced in October that he would run for mayor, and so far, he’s the only candidate officially in the race. Two-term incumbent Ashton Hayward hasn’t yet said whether or not he plans to seek a third term. Robinson’s fellow commissioner Lumon May is also said to be mulling a mayoral run.
Developer Quint Studer was among the 44 donors who contributed more than $33,000 to Robinson’s campaign in December. Studer gave Robinson the legal maximum of $1,000, as did Studer’s wife Rishy, his mother Mary, and his business Studer Properties.
The Lewis Bear Company and various members of the Bear family also contributed a total of $7,000 to the campaign. Two businesses associated with developer Robert Rinke gave a total of $2,000, and Levin Papantonio attorneys Mike Papantonio and Peter Moughey each contributed $1,000. Pensacola city councilwoman Sherri Myers gave Robinson $100.
Pensacola businessmen Will and Collier Merrill also made in-contributions totalling $1,767.50 in connection with a December fundraiser hosted for Robinson at Palafox House, which the Merrills own.
Robinson also loaned the campaign another $10,000 of his own money, following an earlier $10,000 which Robinson loaned the campaign shortly after he announced his candidacy in October.
If elected, Robinson would become just the second mayor elected since the city adopted a mayor-council or “strong mayor” form of government in 2010, under which the mayor exercises broad executive powers. The new charter also extended mayoral terms from two years to four and limited those serving as mayor and city council members to a maximum of three four-year terms.
Pensacola’s next mayoral election is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Should more than two candidates qualify to run, the election would be instead held on Tuesday, August 28; if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters would then proceed to a November 6 runoff.