Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard matched opponent Brian Scott’s fundraising in November, raising $17,947 as she battles to keep the District 2 Commission seat she has held since 2014.
Meanwhile, Scott raised $17,435 between his campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Brian Scott.
While Gerard edged Scott in November by a little more than $500, she maintains the lead in the overall funding, collecting $82,267 since launching her re-election campaign in September. But, Scott is closing with $80,205 raised between his two funding sources.
To note, a press release from Scott’s campaign before reports were available stated Scott has so far raised $84,315 since his campaign started. That number has since been corrected to $80,205.
Gerard reported 71 donors in November, primarily from individuals. She took in six maximum $1,000 contributions, from businesses such as Ygrene Energy Fund, Rebco Enterprises, Home Port Marina and Amscot Corp. The Greater Pinellas Democratic Club also gave Gerard $500.
Gerard’s campaign spent $7,289 in November on campaign research and consulting services.
Scott reported six contributors in November, including $500 from St. Pete developer Chuck Prather and $1,000 from MBI Tours. His campaign spent $3,754 in the same timeframe, including $2,000 on finance consulting services and another $1,500 on advertising.
His political committee saw only three donors, with a hefty $10,000 donation from now retired Joe White, who owned Castle Supply Co. and later established the philanthropic White Family Foundation. His committee also received a $4,000 donation from insurance executive Tony Mercurio and a $1,600 contribution from ESCOT Bus Lines, which Scott owns.
Scott’s affiliated political committee spent $1,179 in November, primarily on legal services.
A third candidate in the race, Debbie Buschman, reported raising $1,230 in November, bringing her total to $13,505 since entering the race in July.
Scott, who works as president of Escot Bus Lines, and fellow Republican Buschman, the Lunch Pal coordinator for Pinellas County Schools, are trying to flip Gerard’s seat red.
For years, the GOP has been eying the district to retake after Gerard flipped the seat blue in 2014, replacing former Commissioner Norm Roche. Roche lost the Republican Primary that year to now Sen. Ed Hooper, who lost to Gerard in the General Election.
The race will appear on the 2022 ballot. If no Democrat files to challenge Gerard, she will face the winner of the GOP Primary next November.