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Other big names on the host committee include the chair of the Pinellas GOP, Rick Baker, Brian Scott, Ed Montanari and more.

New Clearwater Mayor Bruce Rector hasn’t officially endorsed Chris Scherer for Pinellas County Commission, but it’s clear he’s a supporter. 

Rector is hosting a fundraiser supporting Scherer’s campaign for District 1, and an affiliated political committee backing his campaign. 

The fundraiser will be held Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Street Exchange, 10787 Oak St. NE in St. Petersburg.

Other notable hosts for the fundraiser include Pinellas GOP Chair and Pinellas County Tax Collector candidate Adam Ross; Commissioner Brian Scott; Pinellas/Pasco Public Defender Sara Mollo; St. Pete City Council member Ed Montanari; former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker; former state Sen. Jeff Brandes; former Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats; and former St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon. 

The host committee also includes a couple dozen community supporters. 

The fundraiser will include wine and charcuterie, according to a campaign flyer. 

Attendees are encouraged to donate to Scherer’s campaign, with a maximum contribution of $1,000 (including any contributions that have already been made), or to his committee, Friends of Chris Scherer. The committee does not have a donation limit. 

Scherer, a Republican, is running for the District 1 seat currently held by Democrat Janet Long, who is not seeking re-election. He faces Democratic challenger Cookie Kennedy, the current Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach. 

Scherer has so far more than doubled Kennedy’s fundraising, with more than $200,000 raised between his two funding sources. Kennedy has raised just over $95,000 for her bid. 

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.