A defeated Sumter County commissioner has reclaimed a loan he made to his own campaign and donated remaining cash in his re-election coffers to the GOP and some charities.
Commissioner Don Burgess, a Village of Bonnybrook resident, was defeated in the Republican Primary in August by fellow Villager Craig Estep.
Burgess was trounced along with fellow incumbents Al Butler and Steve Printz because Sumter County residents were incensed by a 25 percent property tax hike they approved in 2019.
Burgess launched his re-election bid in February when he wrote a $1,000 check to his campaign and that same day loaned his campaign an additional $4,000, according to the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections. He went on to raise a total of $78,620 in campaign cash, largely from companies connected to The Villages.
Burgess recently cleaned out his campaign fund, reclaiming the $4,000 he had loaned to his campaign and donating $2,983 to the Sumter County Republican Executive Committee, whose support he enjoyed through an unprecedented endorsement in a party primary. He also donated $500 to Villagers for Veterans, $500 to the University of Florida Foundation, $500 to Community United Methodist Church in Fruitland Park, $500 to Young Performing Artists Inc. of Wildwood, $250 to the Wildwood Food Pantry and $250 to the Florida Sheriff’s Association.