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Rene Flowers continues endorsement race in Pinellas County Commission bid

Flowers has been the most active candidate in the race so far.

Pinellas County Commission candidate Rene Flowers is rolling out another set of endorsements.

Her latest nods come from the education and business communities.

Flowers, a current Pinellas County School Board member, nabbed one endorsement from her colleague, School Board Vice Chair Eileen Long.

“I wholeheartedly endorse Rene Flowers for county commissioner. She has exhibited proven leadership, a commitment to the community, she cares for all of our residents, and her energy produces excellence in everything she does,” Long said.

She also brought in endorsements from Pinellas County entrepreneur Ada McFarley, the CEO of Never Late Property Cleaning, and Timothy Ross of Boss Ross BBQ and Catering.

Flowers is running for the District 7 seat currently held by Ken Welch who is not seeking reelection and instead running for St. Pete Mayor in 2021.

Flowers faces two challengers in the Democratic primary so far including former Rep. Frank Peterman Jr. and current Rep. Wengay Newton.

Flowers has so far been the most active candidate in the race. She’s brought in several endorsements including from St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, St. Pete City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Gulfport City Council member Michael Fridovich and former St. Pete City Council member Steve Kornell.

“The ability to work with a team even though opinions may vary on issues such as mental health services, the growing homeless concerns, and expanding small businesses is critical. Addressing the needs of entrepreneurship, small minority business enterprises, and addressing our housing crisis is paramount if we are to remain a viable community for all residents,” Flowers said.

Flowers is also off to an early fundraising lead. She’s raised more than $12,000 so far. Peterman has raised just $3,800. Newton hasn’t posted any fundraising activity yet since he just entered the race this month.

Her lead is likely to diminish, however. Newton is also still listed as a candidate for his current House District 70 seat. Newton has raised $38,000 in that race, money he will likely be able to transfer to his Commission race.

But Flowers has nearly two months to gain on him. As an incumbent, Newton is not allowed to raise funds during the Legislative Session, which started last week.

The race also includes a Republican candidate — firebrand Chico Cromartie whose campaign track record suggests he’s not likely to run a serious campaign.

St. Pete NAACP President Maria Scruggs is also running with no party affiliation.

The primary election is August 18.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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