County Commissioner Grover Robinson and City Councilman Brian Spencer squared off in an exciting race for City of Pensacola mayor that will without a doubt go down in the record books for Pensacola politics.
Downtown resident Spencer raised a whopping $312,880 in contributions after joining the race on the final day with just minutes to spare. Robinson was able to raise $171,777, but his ground game proved to be strong enough for him to get the victory.
The race began with six candidates including Drew Buchanan, David Mayo, Lawrence Powell, and Jonathan Green in addition to Spencer and Robinson. In the August primary, Robinson picked up 34% of the votes, with Spencer grabbing 20.7%. With no candidate receiving more than 50%, the top two were set for a November runoff.
Robinson has represented District 4 on the Escambia County Commission for 12 years, and was the first to officially enter the mayoral race in October of 2017. He made it clear during his campaign that he was the one candidate that had experience and also wanted to bring change to the City of Pensacola.
For the past eight years, it’s been Ashton Hayward at the controls and it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t done an exceptional job for the people of Pensacola. In 2009 the city moved to a “strong mayor” chartered government that made the mayor position a very important one.
Hayward often caught flack for rarely attending city council meetings, something that Robinson has made clear he will make a point to do.
The mayor of Pensacola acts as the CEO of the port, the airport, a utility business and the actual city. On top of wearing all of those hats they are also responsible for managing the $239 million city budget.
Both candidates had a tremendous amount of support and teams behind them, but at the end of the day it’s Robinson headed for City Hall after getting 55.7% of the vote compared to Spencers 44.2%.