Ken Welch joins 6 Pinellas County Mayors in endorsing Pat Gerard

Gerard, a Democrat, was first elected to the seat in 2014.

Incumbent Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard has announced endorsements from six Pinellas County Mayors in support of her re-election bid.

Gerard’s supporters include St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, who worked with Gerard on the Commission before running for his current position.

“As Pat’s colleague on the County Commission, I saw how hard she works for the people of Pinellas County,” Welch said in a statement. “As Mayor, I know Pat understands how to get things done by coordinating public and private partners at every level. Pat Gerard is the clear choice — she’s the right person for District 2.”

Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub, Pinellas Park Mayor Sandra Bradbury, Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski, St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson and Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy also endorsed Gerard.

“Pat has a proven track record of working with city leaders to deliver for our residents,” Bradbury said in a statement. “She’s focused on the bread and butter issues that make a difference in our lives: infrastructure, housing, transportation, and fiscal responsibility. I’m proud to endorse Commissioner Pat Gerard for re-election to the Pinellas County Commission.”

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman also offered support to the incumbent. Gerard, a Democrat, was first elected to the seat in 2014, and before that, served as the first female Mayor of Largo for eight years.

“I am so thankful for the continued confidence and support of this community,” Gerard said in a statement. “There’s a reason that virtually all of my support comes from within Pinellas County — people here know that I am devoted to public service, and have always put our community before politics.”

Gerard so far faces two Republican challengers who are hoping to unseat the incumbent and flip the seat red — Debbie Buschman and Brian Scott.

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

For years, the GOP has been looking to retake the district 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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