Largo Mayor Woody Brown is backing Republican nominee Berny Jacques as he runs for the House District 59 seat.
Brown was elected Mayor in 2014, and has subsequently been re-elected. The newly drawn HD 59 is located in Pinellas County and includes Largo, Seminole, parts of Pinellas Park and some unincorporated areas of the county.
“I’m proud to endorse Berny Jacques for my home district, Florida House district 59. Berny Jacques understands the unique cities in central Pinellas. He appreciates both the role of local decision making and the role of the state legislature in keeping our cities safe and wonderful places to live,” Brown said in a statement.
Jacques, a former prosecutor, became the Republican nominee for HD 59 after besting opponents lawyer Jennifer Wilson and Navy physician Dipak Dinanath Nadkarni in the August Primary Election. He now faces Democrat Dawn Douglas in the November General Election. But the Republican will likely win the seat, as the district leans red.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Brown to deliver commonsense solutions for our local community,” Jacques said in a statement. “We need leaders in Tallahassee who will listen to local concerns and find ways to address issues like out of control inflation and property insurance rates.”
The winner of the HD 59 seat will replace state Rep. Nick DiCeglie who vacated his seat to run for Senate.
Jacques has dominated the fundraising field throughout the race, amassing $248,840 between his campaign and affiliated political committee, Florida Values Coalition.
The candidate has racked up a slew of endorsements — including from U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, the Seminole Professional Firefighters Association, the state’s Fraternal Order of Police, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters and former state Rep. Larry Ahern. However, Wilson was named as DiCeglie’s preferred successor.
As for the seat’s partisan lean — in 2020, 55% of voters within HD 59 voted for Republican Donald Trump, while only 44% went with Democrat Joe Biden.