Rene Flowers picks up two new endorsements in Pinellas Commission race

Rene Flowers Headshot 2
Former Rep. Carl Zimmerman throws his weight behind Flowers.

Former Rep. Carl Zimmermann is endorsing Rene Flowers for Pinellas County Commission.

Flowers is running for the District 7 seat currently held by Ken Welch. Welch is leaving office to run for St. Petersburg Mayor.

Zimmerman formerly served House District 65 in north Pinellas County. He’s also a retired Pinellas County School teacher and formerly headed the journalism program at Countryside High School.

Flowers currently serves as a Pinellas County School Board member.

“I first got to know Rene back in 2008. She was running a county-wide campaign that involved traveling up to my neck of Pinellas County, north Pinellas. People thought what does a lady from St Pete know about our needs, our concerns and the problems we’re facing. But she shocked everyone because she did know,” Zimmerman said.

“She talked about flooding problems from a golf course in East Lake, nature preserves, increasing patrol coverage from the Sheriff’s department and the impact of traffic coming from Pasco County”.

During his tenure with Countryside High’s journalism program, Zimmerman won Tampa Bay Journalism Teacher of the Year three times.

Zimmerman said while he worked with Flowers during her school board race in 2008, she was better versed on issues countywide than any of the other candidates he observed.

“Rene does her homework. She comes prepared and she takes action. That’s why I am endorsing Rene Flowers as the next District 7 Pinellas County Commissioner,” Zimmerman said.

Flowers also recently picked up an endorsement from Oldsmar City Council member Linda Norris.

“Rene’s commitment to our community is unwavering. Her passion to serve is evident in her

capacity as a Board Member on the PSTA, supporting efficient eco-friendly Public Transportation and spearheading the expansion of convenient pickup/drop off points making traveling to work much easier” Norris said.

Flowers has been the frontrunner so far in her race with only former Rep. Frank Peterman Jr. and St. Pete NAACP leader Maria Scruggs to contend with. However, Rep. Wengay Newton recently announced he will run for the District 7 open seat.

Newton hasn’t posted any fundraising activity in that race so far, but he will be able to transfer most if not all of his more than $42,000 in his House District 70 account. Under campaign finance rules, Newton can transfer those funds to a local race as long as he notifies donors and refunds any prior contribution if a donor so requests.

Flowers has raised $15,000. Peterman posted just $5,000 in earnings while Scruggs, who entered the race this month and won’t file finance reports until March, has not posted any earnings.

All of the candidates in the race so far are Democrats. The district leans heavily Democratic.

The Primary Election is August 18.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

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 [email protected].


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