Pat Gerard announces nearly two dozen endorsements, including Darryl Rouson, Ben Diamond

GERARD ART 5.16.22
Gerard so far faces two Republican challengers who are hoping to unseat the incumbent.

Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard has announced 22 endorsements from current and former Pinellas County elected officials for her re-election campaign.

The list of endorsers includes two influential Democratic Pinellas County figures: state Sen. Darryl Rouson and state Rep. Ben Diamond. Former state Rep. Jennifer Webb also joined in support of Gerard.

“Pat Gerard is an outstanding public servant and a leader with integrity who puts the people first,” Diamond said in a statement. “Pat has always fought for Pinellas, and for the issues that matter to our families: housing affordability, public transportation and lowering our property taxes.”

Gerard also announced endorsements from St. Petersburg City Council members Brandi Gabbard, Lisa WheelerBowman, Deborah Figgs-Sanders and Gina Driscoll. School Board member Caprice Edmond and former St. Petersburg Council member Charlie Gerdes also endorsed Gerard.

Other local leaders who endorsed Gerard include:

— Largo Commissioners Jamie Robinson and Michael Smith

— Dunedin Commissioners Maureen Freaney and Jeff Gow

— Clearwater Council members David Albritton and Kathleen Beckman

— Belleair Bluffs Commissioner Joe Barkley

— Oldsmar Mayor Dan Saracki

— Pinellas Park Council member Patti Reed

— Indian Rocks Beach Council member Jude Bond

— Gulfport City Council members Michael Fridovich, Paul Ray and April Thanos

“I am humbled by the support of these leaders in our community,” Gerard said in a statement. “I share with these folks a commitment to public service and to Pinellas County.

In addition to the recent roll-out of endorsements, Gerard has previously received support from other prominent elected leaders in Pinellas, including Rep. Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch.

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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