He runs for office – and the money follows

By Ariel Thomas | gargoyle@flagler.edu
In a few short months, former St. Johns County official Jerry Cameron has raised more than $63,000 in his bid for county commissioner.
Cameron is the county’s former assistant administrator for community affairs, a job that put him out into the community where he listened to people’s issues and concerns.
“I’m concerned about the county. And people see that,” said Cameron, explaining his success in attracting donations.

Jerry Cameron

Jerry Cameron

According to a campaign treasury report, Cameron raised $50,000 in November 2015 alone. In December and January, he raised an additional $13,280, according to the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections.
Contributors included everyone from attorneys and developers to real estate agencies and private investors. Some donated up to $1,000.
Paul Waldron, who is also running for commissioner in District 3, has raised $10,200 in monetary and in-kind contributions so far.
In District 5, Rachael Bennett has raised $31,120 and Dottie L. Acosta has taken in $5,450.61.
George Lareau, who is running for the clerk of the circuit court and comptroller, has raised just $1,455, but is optimistic his fortunes will improve.
Former St. Johns County Clerk Cheryl Strickland supports Lareau, who has worked with the St. Johns County Clerk office for 32 years, as both court clerk and chief deputy clerk.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Lareau’s opponent, Hunter Conrad, as clerk of courts on Oct. 30, 2015.
“What’s different about me is that I’ve worked there so I know the office inside and out,” Lareau says.
Conrad had raised $20,181.16 as of the end of December, according to the Supervisor of Elections.


Jerry Cameron’s monetary contributions total $63,280, so far, according to the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections.

Both Lareau and Cameron agree that experience is essential to winning a campaign.
“St. Johns County for 15 years has been on a upward trajectory and is recognized as one of the best places to live and visit,” Cameron says. “I think that all of the success is bringing new challenges. My goal is to maintain that trajectory and maintain or quality of life. My experience gives me some of the tools to maintain it.”
Cameron says that his success in attracting support can be attributed to three rules he says he follows. No. 1: He helps the people who come to him. No. 2: He communicates efficiently, returning phone calls and emails the same day he receives them. No. 3: He is fair in his use of the power the job gives him.
Other positions up for election include:

  • Property appraiser
  • Sheriff
  • Supervisor of elections
  • Tax collector
  • County judge – Group 2
  • County commissioners – Districts 1,3 and 5.
  • School board members – Districts 2 and 5.
  • St. Augustine city commissioners – Seats 1, 2, 3.
  • St. Augustine Beach commissioners – Seats 1 and 2.

The election is set for Nov. 8, 2016.

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