Former Rep. Larry Ahern has endorsed House District 66 candidate Berny Jacques in his bid to succeed Rep. Nick DiCeglie.
Ahern credits his endorsement to Jacques’ conservative values — during his time in the House, Ahern was recognized as arguably the most conservative lawmaker in the Pinellas legislative delegation and an early Trump supporter.
“Berny Jacques is a true conservative who shares our values on the sanctity of life, a limited government and our country’s cherished freedoms,” Ahern said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, we need a state representative who will protect our American way of life.”
Ahern previously served Florida’s 66th District in northwestern Pinellas County from 2012 to 2018, and in Florida’s 51st District from 2010 to 2012.
“It’s truly an honor to have the support and full backing of Rep. Ahern,” Jacques said in a statement. “Larry served Pinellas County as a true principled conservative in the Florida House and was the first Florida elected official to endorse President (Donald) Trump back in 2015. During Larry’s time in office, no one was stronger when it came to defending the unborn and our constitutional freedoms. I look forward to continuing that legacy as your next state representative from Pinellas County.”
Jacques is a former prosecutor and former conservative analyst for Bay News 9. He entered the race as a Republican candidate back in April, and faces Alen Tomczak, a technical lead at Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base.
So far, they are the only two filed for the race in the red district covering parts of northwest Pinellas County, including Clearwater Beach south to Indian Shores.
Jacques previously ran for HD 66 in 2018, losing the GOP primary to DiCeglie.
In his 2018 run, Jacques secured endorsements from the Florida Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Professional Firefighters, among other local nods. With DiCeglie not on the ticket, Jacques is likely to mount a formidable bid for the seat.
HD 66 has a significant conservative advantage, with nearly 50,000 registered Republican voters to just over 38,000 Democrats. The district also includes nearly 34,000 independent voters.