Rep. Chris Latvala has raised more than $100,000 for his Pinellas County Commission bid, his campaign announced Wednesday.
Almost half of that total came from the Tampa Bay area, his campaign said, and he currently has $88,000 cash on hand.
Latvala’s political committee, Friends of Chris Latvala, raised another $30,000. A second political committee, Suncoast Better Government Committee, has more than $50,000 cash on hand. All in all, Latvala has more than $163,000 on hand for a County Commission race, his campaign announced.
Latvala marked this occasion after only being able to fundraise for 10 days in January, prior to the start of the Legislative Session. As of Jan. 11, he ceased raising money, and will pause all contributions until March 11, when the Legislative Session concludes. Latvala currently serves House District 67, which covers areas of Pinellas County including Clearwater.
“I am honored to have the support of my local community for my campaign for Pinellas County Commission,” Latvala said in a statement. “I believe we need more conservative voices in the mold of Kathleen Peters pushing back against the Democrats in Pinellas to ensure our conservative values are being considered and respected in the decisions of the Pinellas County Commission.”
However, it is still unclear if Latvala will be running for the District 4 Commission seat in 2022 or 2024.
“Kathleen was the only Commissioner who stood up for our values during the pandemic when every other Commissioner voted to raise our taxes. I am sick of Republicans who are only ‘Republican’ when it is an election year,” Latvala said. “While I will be actively running for Commissioner one day — my focus is on helping Speaker (Chris) Sprowls conclude the work we were elected to do in Tallahassee and that is having one of the most conservative Legislatures in Florida History.”
Right now, Republican incumbent Dave Eggers leads as one of three candidates in the race. However, Latvala is considering challenging the incumbent for the seat.
If Latvala jumped into that race, it would likely be a competitive Republican Primary between a sitting legislator and an incumbent Commissioner.
Latvala told Florida Politics he decided to consider challenging Eggers after learning the Commission was planning to hold its first meeting on Pinellas County redistricting ahead of the 2022 elections without live-streaming or televising the meeting, prompting concerns incumbents would try to draw lines favoring their own re-elections.
District 4 covers the northernmost parts of Pinellas County, including Palm Harbor, East Lake, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin and Safety Harbor.