Make no mistake — Brian Spencer is trying to buy his way into the Pensacola mayor’s office.
In just three months, Spencer’s campaign and associated PACs have raised well over a quarter of a million dollars. Where’s all that money coming from? Here are the biggest donors:
Brian and Crystal Spencer — $25,000
Ray Russenberger and family — $22,000
J.J. Talbott and family — $16,000
Bob Kerrigan — $12,500
John Peacock and family — $11,500
Jerry Pate — $10,000
Davis family/Jewelers Trade Shop — $6,550
Teri Levin and family — $6,237
Darryl LaPointe/Highpointe Hotels — $6,000
Orth family — $4,000
Paul Epstein/Running Wild — $4,000
Ivan Streckel and family — $3,000
Other noteworthy donors include Lauren Hayward, sister of current mayor Ashton Hayward ($750); ECUA Board Member Lois Benson ($500); and Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan ($500).
No big surprises here. Much of the money behind Spencer has come from the “downtown crowd” — people who, like Spencer, live downtown and have substantial downtown property and business interests.
There’s a reason for that: Brian Spencer isn’t really running for Mayor of Pensacola. He’s running for Mayor of Downtown Pensacola.
Brian Spencer has been my city councilman for eight years now, and those of us who live in the parts of his district beyond downtown haven’t seen him, aside from once or twice during election season. We haven’t seen him in Eastside. We haven’t seen him in Long Hollow. We haven’t seen him in Belmont-Devilliers. No town hall meetings, no “Coffee with a Councilman,” no anything.
Don’t get me wrong — I love downtown Pensacola — but we are a city of neighborhoods and we need a mayor that cares about every single one of them. We need a mayor that cares about Scenic Heights and Parker Circle and Woodland Heights and Cordova Park and Broadview Farms and East Pensacola Heights and Pineglades and the Tanyard and the Westside Garden District and Bayou Grove.
Brian Spencer doesn’t, and the proof is everywhere, from his record to his financial reports.