In a battle between brothers, incumbent Lumon May defeated his sibling LuTimothy May to retain his seat as Escambia County District 3 commissioner.
Lumon May, a two-term incumbent, out-raised his brother by more than $100,000 and ran away with the race. With all precincts reporting, he led his brother 7,600 votes to 941.
Although Lumon May has no Republican challenger in the Nov. 3 General Election, the seat will be appear on the ballot because write-in candidate Jason Laird qualified for the race.
Tuesday night, May said he was humbled, thankful and grateful for all the love and support he received. He said he never ran races based on opponents, but rather on his record and the needs of the community.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the civic, community, civil rights and faith-based organizations that lent their support,” May said.
More: Lumon May endorsed by mom in Escambia County Commission race against brother, LuTimothy
May said he would continue to focus on basic needs like putting sidewalks in neighborhoods, as well as ensuring federal CARES Act funding made its way into the hands of the people who needed it most.
District 3 is one of the few staunchly Democratic voting blocks in the county, and includes many predominantly Black neighborhoods – both populations who’ve shown elevated concerns about COVID-19.
Lumon May campaigned on a platform of improving his constituents’ quality of life through affordable housing initiatives, workforce and job training programs and a focus on helping families and small businesses come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic intact.
LuTimothy May hit similar notes in his campaign, promising to focus on safe neighborhoods, to take care of public employees so they can better serve the public and to develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
Throughout the campaign, both brothers mostly refrained from overt attacks against one another, but they exchanged subtle digs such as LuTimothy noting there has not been significant positive change in the district over the last decade — the length of his brother’s term in office — and Lumon May stating he was the only candidate who lives in the district and has a proven track record of getting things done.
Although LuTimothy May has been the longtime pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, many Baptist ministers threw their support behind Lumon, citing his long history of service of the people, and particularly the youth, of the district.
The May family was also firmly in Lumon’s corner, with his mother and five siblings endorsing his campaign.
Lumon May also had a significantly deeper war chest, though he held most of it in reserve. Lumon May raised more than $130,000 and spent around $42,000, while LuTimothy’s campaign drew in just short of $27,000 and used almost everything.
At the end of the day, both Both candidates said they feel good about the race they ran.
“We made it through the finishing line with character and taking the high road,” LuTimothy said. “It’s not about the race, it’s how you run the race.”
Lumon May said of his campaign team and supporters, “We’ve been able to be a part of what I believe to be a great team of citizens who want what’s best for this community. So tonight I’m thankful, I’m overjoyed and I’d be remiss not thanking my mother, and thanking my brothers and my sisters and thanking my supporters. my friends and family. In a pandemic time, a difficult time and probably an awkward campaign and election, they stood right with me to the very end.”
Laird, the write-in candidate, had reported $0 in monetary contributions, in-kind contributions and campaign expenditures as of the day of the primary election. His entry into the election closed the race off to Republican and independent voters.