Michelle Oyola McGovern remains fundraising favorite in Palm Beach Commission contest


Baptist Health Director of Government and Community Relations Michelle Oyola McGoverna Democrat and longtime staffer of the former U.S. senator. Bill Nelsonretains a $12,000 cash advance in the contest from the Palm Beach County Commission of District 6.

McGovern raised $34,000 in March between her campaign account and Team McGoverna political committee which she shares with her husband, Wellington Village Councilman John McGovernwho was re-elected 8 March.

Since launching her campaign last April, she has raised over $300,000. She still had $287,000 as of March 31.

State Representative Matt Willhite hauled $54,000 in March, bringing him one step closer to reclaiming the top spot in the four-man race. But although he topped the pack in March, he remains in second place behind McGovern in cash available. He held $275,000 between his campaign account and political committee, Floridians for Public Safetyto March 31.

They face the main opponent Sylvia Sharps, a county water utility concession writer and former Palm Beach Commission nominee. Sharps is a distant third in terms of available cash.

The winner of this competition will face the real estate agent Sara Baxteronly Republican in the race, to determine who will replace the commissioner Melissa McKinlay on the county dais. McKinlay, who endorsed McGovern as his favorite successoris due to step down in November due to term limits.

McGovern last month accepted $10,000 through a pair of donations from the Florida Associated Industriesa powerful pressure group mainly financed by six companies: Sugar Giants Florida crystals and American sugarfor-profit hospital operator Health HCAhealth insurer Florida Blueutility company Florida Energy and Light and Walt Disney World.

The group itself donated $5,000. Another donation of equal value came from Florida Business Voicea Policy Committee chaired by the President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida Bevis Brewer.

McGovern also received many donations from real estate and construction related businesses.

Highland Beach Real Estate Properties donated $5,000. Boca Raton-based college real estate consulting firm Barbar & Associates and based in Pompano Beach Jackson Land Development each donated $1,000.

Boynton Beach-based Heritage Carpet & Tile and CSCI LLC, Boca Raton-based Caulfield & Wheeler and Distinctive Kitchens & Baths, and Delray Beach-based The BG Group donated $500 each.

Other contributions to McGovern included $2,500 from the insurance giant Cigna and $1,000 from law firms Weiss Handler and Cornwell, Sachs Sax Caplan and Pike & Lustig LLP.

McGovern spent just $150 in March, all on donation processing fees.

Baxter took a distant third place in fundraising last month with just $2,400, about half of what it spent during that time. She held just under $16,000 as of March 31.

Sharp’s campaign has raised nearly $13,000 since its launch, including $1,300 raised in March. He had about $8,500 left after spending $580 last month.

The Palm Beach County Commission in December approved a new card for the 2022 elections. District 6 underwent minor changes, but the boundaries remained largely similar to the current configuration.

Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign fundraising through March 31.

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