Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is backing Rene Flowers for Pinellas County Commission.
Foster, a Republican who served as Mayor of St. Petersburg from 2010 to 2014, is supporting the Democratic candidate citing his time serving alongside her on St. Pete City Council.
“From the first day that she took office, Rene was always prepared and commanded the material presented,” Foster said in a news release. “Her comments and ultimately her decisions were always based on facts and not emotions — even the hard decisions.”
Foster also credits Flowers’ work in supporting social services, affordable housing and year round youth employment.
“After 21 votes to select myself or Bill Foster as the next Council Chair, Bill elected to step aside noting that I had proven my leadership skills and he saw no need to change,” Flowers said about her tenure with Foster in city politics. “Bill supported my new business items, funding for affordable housing, funding of the Heritage Trail, and funding for 22nd Street Main Street. Stepping out to endorse me in a partisan race means a lot.”
While Foster’s nod is a show of bipartisan support, he doesn’t have anyone from his own party to choose. No Republicans are running in the District 7 race, a district that leans heavily Democratic. Maria Scruggs is running as an independent.
Foster’s endorsement is another on a growing list, which also includes support from current St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Florida House Rep. Carl Zimmermann.
Flowers is running against three other Democratic candidates for the Pinellas County Commission District 7 seat. The other candidates include former Rep. Frank Peterman Jr, Scruggs and Rep. Wengay Newton. Flowers will face Peterman and Newton in the Aug. 18 primary. The winner will take on Scruggs in the Nov. 3 general election.
Incumbent Ken Welch is leaving office to run for St. Pete Mayor in 2021.