Rene Flowers backs Lindsay Cross for HD 68

Cross is running to replace Rep. Ben Diamond.

Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers is endorsing Lindsay Cross to replace Rep. Ben Diamond in House District 68.

Flowers, who was first elected to the County Commission in 2020, cited Cross’ commitment to sustainability and climate resiliency. Flowers previously served on the Pinellas County School Board from 2012 to 2020, where she was chair for two terms.

“Pinellas County is one of the most vulnerable regions in the country and Lindsay has been a leader in addressing climate resiliency,” Flowers said in a statement. “Lindsay will stand strong by supporting the use of renewable energy despite those in Tallahassee who have pre-empted cities and counties from setting renewable energy goals. I know that Lindsay will fight those dangerous preemptions and move (the) Tampa Bay area to be more resilient so that we can preserve the beauty we enjoy for our children.”

Cross, who works as an environmental scientist, thanked Flowers for her support, echoing her call for local control and environmental protection.

“Commissioner Flowers has a long track record of service to our community. That’s why it’s so humbling to have her in my corner on this campaign,” Cross said in a statement. “We both know that Pinellas County, our region, and our state can do more to protect our environment. Local control is key so that each community can set goals, policies, and programs that are right for them. It’s something I’ll be fighting for in Tallahassee and I’m truly honored to have Commissioner Flowers’ support to do just that.”

Diamond is vacating his House seat to run for Congress.

Cross was previously endorsed by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard, Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson, Gulfport City Council member Michael Fridovich, Largo City Commissioner Eric Gerard and Belleair Bluffs Commissioner Joseph Barkley III.

Cross challenged Sen. Jeff Brandes in the 2018 race for Senate District 24, losing by about 8 percentage points. Her odds are better in 2022, assuming HD 68 remains a Democratic-leaning district after reapportionment.

Currently, she is the only candidate seeking the seat. As of Sept. 31, the latest finance report available, she had raised $75,697 for her campaign.

HD 68, which covers part of Pinellas County, has a nearly 7,000 voter registration advantage with 46,096 Democrats to 39,207 Republicans. But with redistricting occurring ahead of the 2022 election, that could change if the Republican majority in the Legislature redraws boundaries to boost its advantage.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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