Bennett Builds Up Campaign Funds Ex-Commissioner Has $41,635 in Contributions

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Talmadge Bennett, a former Clay County commissioner who wants to return to the board, retained his fund-raising lead over the other nine candidates who are seeking countywide office on the Sept. 5 ballot.

Bennett had $41,635 in monetary contributions to date, according to the candidates' latest campaign treasurer's report.

The reports, which were due last week, included the total amount of contributions candidates have received and expenditures they have made through Aug. 11. They also include specific contributions and expenditures during the last reporting period, from July 29 to Aug. 11.

The next round of reports is due Friday.

Bennett is one of six candidates in the running for the District 1 commission seat being vacated by Dale Wilson, who is leaving office after 24 years. Other primary races are for the District 5 commission seat, currently held by Larry Lancaster, and for school superintendent, currently held by David Owens.

Here is a roundup of other candidates in the primary and their total contributions:

Commission, District 1

Van Royal -- $30,575

David McCall -- $16,430

Christy Fitzgerald -- $16,300

Matt Justice-Steinman -- $3,750

Bill Randall -- $1,400

Commission, District 5

Larry Lancaster (incumbent) -- $23,035

Danny Warren -- $9,400

School Superintendent

David Owens (incumbent) -- $27,771

Phyllis Renninger -- $25,515

If necessary, a runoff will be Oct. 3. The general election is Nov. 4; the only countywide race on that ballot will be the District 5 commission seat, with Independent Glen Dutcher challenging the primary winner.

DISTRICT 1

NAME: Talmadge L. Bennett

RESIDENCE: Green Cove Springs

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 57

PERSONAL: Wife, Judy; four children

OCCUPATION: Vice president of a Jacksonville heating and air conditioning company and co-owner of a florist and gift shop in Green Cove Springs

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering, University of Florida,; Masters degree in business administration, Florida Atlantic University

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Clay County commissioner 1980-84; appointed Clay County clerk of circuit court from April-November 1998 to complete the term of John Keene, who resigned following a grand jury investigation into the improper use of county funds

NAME: Christy Fitzgerald

RESIDENCE: Green Cove Springs

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 40

PERSONAL: Husband, Steve; 2 children

OCCUPATION: Special projects coordinator (on leave of absence)

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in management from Hood College, 1982

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Never held public office, but currently serves as president of Federated Republican Women of Clay County

NAME: Matt Justice

RESIDENCE: Middleburg

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 30

PERSONAL: Wife, Michelle; 1 child

OCCUPATION: Transportation industry manager

EDUCATION: Seeking associate degree at Florida Community College at Jacksonville

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: none

NAME: David McCall

RESIDENCE: Orange Park

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 38

PERSONAL: Wife, Sharon; 1 child

OCCUPATION: Firefighter/Emergency medical technician with city of Jacksonville

EDUCATION: Two-year degree in fire science from Florida Community College at Jacksonville

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: none

NAME: Bill Randall

RESIDENCE: Orange Park

PARTY: Republican

AGE: 55

PERSONAL: Wife, Mary; 2 children

OCCUPATION: unemployed

EDUCATION: Monroe Community College; Rochester Institute of Technology; Southwest Georgia Baptist Seminary, 1983-85

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Ran a losing race against U. …