Vancore Jones, a successful local campaign consultant and local government vendor, is on record as recruiting a recently filed candidate to run for a city commission seat. Vancore Jones has contracts to provide public relations services to government entities controlled by both the Leon County Commission and the Tallahassee City Commission.
With no incumbents seeking to fill three seats on the Tallahassee City Commission and the District 3 seat on the Leon County Commission, interested parties and candidates continue to search for the formula that will lead to electoral success.
One of those interested parties is Vancore Jones.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that recently filed city commission candidate, Lisa Brown, was recruited by Vancore Jones.
Reporter Jeff Burlew wrote that Ms. Brown “registered for years as a Republican but switched to no party affiliation in August 2017, at the same time she was being courted by local political consulting firm Vancore Jones. The firm runs campaigns for Democratic and NPA candidates but not Republicans, typically. The city seat is nonpartisan.”
A review of publicly available information indicates that Vancore-Jones has a significant financial interest in local campaigns.
For example, since 2008 campaign records show that Vancore Jones has billed approximately $1.3 million in campaign related expenses to ten local candidates.
Four of those candidates (Bryan Desloge, Mary Ann Lindley, Kristin Dozier, & John Dailey) currently serve on the Leon County Commission and two (Nancy Miller & Gil Ziffer) currently serve on the Tallahassee City Commission.
That could be the end of the story – a successful campaign consultant wins big with local candidates.
But it is not.
Vancore Jones also has an interest in local government contracts and representing parties with financial interests before the government bodies stacked with candidates they helped win.
A review of local government contracts shows that the city and county has awarded Vancore Jones approximately $240,000 in contracts since 2016. The work has focused on public relations.
Vancore Jones was also paid approximately $112,000 for pubic relation services by a private political committee, Alliance for a Better Community, which raised and spent monies in support of the 2014 Blueprint sales tax extension.
The Blueprint tax, which passed, also provided an allocation of about $90.7 million for economic development proposals.
Records show that Blueprint – a government organization controlled by elected officials on both the Leon County Commission and the Tallahassee City Commission – has been paying Vancore Jones since mid-2016.
The contracts are for various public relations services which include the creation of a marketing strategy for economic development efforts to promote and elevate Tallahassee-Leon County.
In addition, Vancore Jones was hired last year by the owner of the Killearn Country Club to help push through a controversial rezoning proposal that was ultimately approved by the full city commission.
Tallahassee Reports will be seeking comments from local government candidates about the potential conflicts associated with campaign consultants seeking local government contracts.