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‘On the County Commission, Scherer will be an ally with business experience, helping me cut taxes and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.’

Pinellas County Commissioner Brian Scott is hoping for a different colleague in the District 1 seat currently held by Janet Long. He’s instead backing GOP challenger Chris Scherer.

Long, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election. Scherer, a Republican, is running to flip the seat red. He faces Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy, a Democrat, at the ballot box this year.

Scott, one of the board’s newest members and part of a slate of conservatives who flipped control of the Commission to the GOP in 2022, is backing Scherer because he believes he better aligns with pro-business ideology.

“On the County Commission, Scherer will be an ally with business experience, helping me cut taxes and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy,” Scott said. “His ‘Can-do’ attitude is exactly what we need more of on the Commission if we are going to tackle the important issues and ensure Pinellas County is an affordable place to live, work, and raise a family. I am proud to endorse his campaign.”

Scherer celebrated the latest in a string of local conservative support.

“Commissioner Brian Scott is an exemplary leader both in the business sector and now as a member of the Pinellas County Commission,” Scherer said.

“He knows first-hand how government policies affect the day-to-day lives of Pinellas families and businesses, and we are both deeply committed to preserving our unique way of life through policies that empower job creators and get Big Government out of the way of economic prosperity. I’m excited to work with Brian Scott on the Pinellas County Commission.”

Scherer graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in finance before relocating to Pinellas County and obtaining his Class-A Contractors and Real Estate Brokerage licenses. Scherer founded Scherer Development in 1994, a company that provides clients with development services ranging from site selection and design to construction, leasing and property management.

Scherer said he’s running “to protect and improve what makes Pinellas special,” which includes a platform of preserving the environment; lowering taxes; enacting term limits; supporting law enforcement; and securing elections.

Scherer’s father was a U.S. Naval Captain who served in Vietnam. Scherer said he is an avid volunteer, including at St. Vincent DePaul. He also served from 2010 to 2016 on the St. Pete Development Review Commission.

Scherer has also earned support from the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association; former Pinellas County Sheriff Jim CoatsSen. Nick DiCeglie; former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran; Rep. Bernie Jacques; Clearwater interim Mayor Brian Aungst Sr.Belleair Bluffs Mayor Chris Arbutine Sr.; former Sen. Jeff Brandes; former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker; former St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon; and Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.

Scherer has more than doubled Kennedy in fundraising for the race so far, with more than $155,000 raised between his official campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Chris Scherer. Kennedy’s campaign has matched Scherer’s — both have raised about $84,000 — but she doesn’t have an affiliated political committee boosting her spending power.

Long’s departure from her position sets up an open race for a countywide seat Republicans have long eyed for a flip.

Republicans recently flipped the political makeup of the Pinellas County Commission in the 2022 Midterms and are looking to grow that advantage with a Scherer victory this year.

They’re also eyeing Charlie Justice’s seat, with a bid by Republican Vincent Nowicki to unseat the longtime Democratic Commissioner.