Florida Politics

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Latvala is the third County Commissioner to endorse Scherer, following Commissioners Dave Eggers and Brian Scott.

Republican Pinellas County Commissioner Chris Latvala would like there to be two conservative Chrises on the dais. He is endorsing Chris Scherer for the District 1 seat currently held by a Democrat who is retiring.

“We need more proven conservatives on the Pinellas County Commission who will help us lower costs for local families,” Latvala said.

“As a successful entrepreneur and homebuilder, Chris Scherer knows how to save taxpayers money and ensure government works efficiently and effectively for the citizens it serves. He will also stand up for the rule of law and support our First Responders. I am excited to endorse Chris Scherer for Pinellas County Commission.”

Scherer is running for the seat currently held by Janet Long. He faces Democrat Cookie Kennedy in the contest.

Scherer, who is running on a conservative platform supported by a host of local GOP leaders, called Latvala “a conservative champion” and said he is “honored to earn his endorsement.”

“From the State House to the County Commission, Commissioner Latvala has never backed down from the fight for lower taxes, responsible spending, and public safety resources. I look forward to working together to improve our Pinellas way of life on the County Commission,” Scherer said.

The GOP has been eyeing Long’s seat for years, coming within striking distance four years ago, but narrowly missing the chance to flip her seat. Long defeated Republican former Rep. Larry Ahern in that race by just 1 percentage point.

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. He 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.

Latvala’s nod follows Scherer’s most recent endorsement, from former Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks. Hendricks said he was supporting Scherer because his constituents “deserve an advocate on the County Commission who understands the unique issues affecting our way of life.” That was a particularly resonating nod considering Scherer’s opponent, Kennedy, was until last month the Mayor of a neighboring beach town, Indian Rocks Beach.

Latvala is the third County Commissioner to endorse Scherer, following Commissioners Dave Eggers and Brian Scott. He also has support from former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard; the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association; former Pinellas County Sheriff Jim CoatsSen. Nick DiCeglie; former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran; Rep. Bernie Jacques; former 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 raised more than $200,000 for his race, through his official campaign and an affiliated political committee. That’s more than double what Kennedy has raised, at $95,208.