Brian Scott releases new ad slamming Pat Gerard over tax increases

Brian Scott
The 30-second ad, called 'Tough Times,' is set to run across Pinellas County.

Pinellas County Commission candidate Brian Scott has released a new campaign ad as he competes with incumbent Democratic Commissioner Pat Gerard for the District 2 seat.

The 30-second ad, called “Tough Times,” is set to run across Pinellas County. In the ad, Scott talks taxes — promising to end tax hikes and criticizing Gerard for tax increases.

“Every year our taxes go up. And every year, Pat Gerard wants more — more gas taxes, sales taxes, property taxes — in good times, tough times, even during a pandemic. Pat Gerard never met a tax she didn’t like,” Scott asserts in the ad.

“I’ll end these endless tax hikes, because when taxes soar, families struggle to afford their homes. I’m not a career politician. I’m a small businessman, and together, we’ll put working families first in Pinellas County.”

Scott, who works as president of Escot Bus Lines, took the Republican nomination for the seat in the August Primary, collecting 66% of the vote compared to opponent Debbie Buschman’s 34%. Now, he’s off to the General Election against Gerard, who has held the District 2 seat since 2014.

“Our first ad makes it abundantly clear — we want Pinellas County to be a place where small businesses and families don’t just survive, but thrive,” Scott said in a statement.

“Pat Gerard has raised taxes year after year, even during the pandemic. I’m running for Pinellas County Commission to end the endless tax hikes and make our community more affordable for everyone, and I know thousands of Pinellas County residents support our message.”

Although Gerard has kept a solid hold on the seat since her initial election, polling show the incumbent is in for a competitive race.

And Scott has the funding to compete with the incumbent — the pair are only separated by about $10,000 in funding, with Gerard in the lead.

Since entering the race, Scott has raised $274,558 between his campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Brian Scott. Gerard, on the other hand, has amassed $283,230 since filing for re-election.

However, Gerard does have a large cash-on-hand advantage, currently boasting $188,698 in available spending money, while Scott has $105,622 cash on hand.

For years, the GOP has been looking to retake the district after Gerard flipped the seat blue upon her initial election, replacing former Commissioner Norm Roche. Roche lost the Republican Primary that year to now-Sen. Ed Hooper, who later lost to Gerard in the General Election.

If Scott flips the seat, the makeup of the County Commission will change from a 4-3 Democratic majority to a Republican majority.

District 2 is an at large seat covering northwest Pinellas County, but it is voted on countywide. The county has a slight Republican advantage, with 245,875 Republicans, 237,802 Democrats and 209,339 no-party or third-party registered voters.

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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