Former Largo Police Chief John Carroll has announced his endorsement of Republican candidate Berny Jacques for House District 66.
Carroll, who was appointed as the city’s police chief in 2010, later retired after over three decades of service. He currently serves on the Largo City Commission, first elected in 2014 and subsequently re-elected in 2018.
“I am proud to say that I have known Berny for many years, and he is an honest, dedicated, and committed man. I am a retired police chief and current city commissioner, and Berny has always demonstrated unwavering support for law enforcement and local decision making,” Carroll said in a statement. “He is an outstanding individual of the highest caliber, and I would be proud to have him represent me and my community in Tallahassee.”
Jacques has so far gathered endorsements from the Seminole Professional Firefighters Association, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, former Rep. Larry Ahern and Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters.
“The support our campaign continues to earn is outstanding. I’m proud to have the support of so many local and community leaders including John Carroll,” Jacques said in a statement. “Our conservative message of keeping Florida free, open, and safe is certainly resonating across our community and Florida.”
The former prosecutor and previous conservative analyst for Bay News 9 is running to replace Nick DiCeglie in the Florida House. DiCeglie is vacating the seat to run for state Senate. Jacques also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans.
He previously ran for HD 66 in 2018, losing the GOP Primary to DiCeglie.
So far, Jacques is facing MacDill Air Force Base technical lead Alen Tomczak in the Republican Primary. He maintains the highest fundraising total. As of January, Jacques has raised $169,545 between his campaign and committee. Tomczak has collected $124,065 between his two funding sources through that span.
HD 66 has a conservative advantage, with nearly 50,000 registered Republican voters as compared to just over 38,000 Democrats. The district also includes nearly 34,000 independent voters. The candidates are running to represent parts of northwest Pinellas County, including Clearwater Beach south to Indian Shores.