Pat Gerard raises nearly $17K in January, retaking lead in Pinellas Commission race

Gerard has now amassed $112,830 since launching her reelection campaign.

Incumbent Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard raised $16,760 in January for her reelection campaign, putting her back in the lead for fundraising against challenger Brian Scott, who previously surpassed Gerard in December.

Gerard has now amassed $112,830 since launching her reelection campaign. After collecting $11,110 in January, Scott’s total comes to $109,010 between his campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Brian Scott

The two have been neck-and-neck since each entered the race, with Scott taking the lead in December only to be surpassed by Gerard in January.

As far as donors, Gerard’s campaign saw 68 contributors in the month of January, including six $1,000 drops from companies like Dick Norris Buick GMC Inc. and individuals including St. Pete restauranteur Steve Westphal. According to her campaign, of the 362 total donors to Gerard, 87.8% list addresses in Pinellas County, and over 91% of all donations are from individuals.

Gerard’s campaign spent $5,294 last month, with over $4,500 going to campaign consulting services and the remainder directed toward processing fees.

Scott’s campaign raised $5,110 in January from 16 donors, including two $1,000 donations from Champion Coach, Inc. and transportation executive John Walker. His affiliated political committee, which raised $6,000 last month, reported $5,000 from Pamela Calixto, vice president of Escot Bus Lines, and another $1,000 from procurement analyst Kelly Rogers.

His campaign dished out $3,284, with $2,000 going to advertising and another $1,000 going to finance consulting. His political committee spent $1,000 on consulting.

Gerard entered February with $90,377 cash on hand, and Scott $84,879.

The race also includes Republican Debbie Buschman, the Lunch Pal coordinator for Pinellas County Schools.

Buschman raised $510 in January from six individual contributors. She spent $171 on event fees, office supplies and processing services.

District 2 is an at-large seat covering northwest Pinellas County, but it is voted on countywide.

For years, the GOP has been eyeing 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 in November.

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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