Cookie Kennedy to raise funds with who’s who of small town electeds
Cookie Kennedy is ready for a closer look at regulations on short-term vacation rentals.

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The list is bipartisan, too.

Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Joanne “Cookie” Kennedy will raise funds Thursday for her Pinellas County Commission campaign with support from a packed slate of local elected officials.

An invitation to the fundraising reception, at Bon Appetit Restaurant located at 148 Marina Plaza in Dunedin from 6:30-8 p.m., boasts a robust host committee that includes small town Mayors and City Commissioners, former elected officials and business owners. 

The list is bipartisan, too.

Kennedy is a Democrat seeking to replace incumbent Janet Long — also a Democrat — in the District 1 seat Long is vacating. Kennedy has support from Dunedin Mayor Julie Bujalski, who is also a Democrat. 

Clearwater City Council member Kathleen Beckman, a Democrat and retired teacher, is also on the host committee, as is Jeff Gow, a Democrat who serves on Dunedin City Commission. 

But on the other side of the aisle, Kennedy is also boasting support from Oldsmar Mayor Dan Saracki, a vocal conservative; Republican Largo City Commissioner Donna Holck; and former Madeira Beach City Commissioner Housh Ghovaee, an engineer who has previously supported Republicans. 

Kennedy’s ability to reach across the aisle will be an asset in the open District 1 race. Long is not seeking re-election due to term limits, and Republicans are expected to fight hard and spend big to nab another seat on the Commission, which flipped red last year during what turned out to be a red tsunami in Florida despite disappointing results nationwide in the Midterms. 

Kennedy’s host committee also includes former Dunedin City Commissioner Deborah Kynes; business owner Rodney Finke; Matt Loder Jr. of the Crabby Bills family; Joe Moston and Moston Apparel; and Michelle and Perry Larson. 

Sponsorships at the host level are $1,000 and $500 for co-hosts. Other donation levels for the reception include $250 for the champion level and $100 to be a campaign “friend.”

Kennedy has not yet filed any campaign finance reports as she just entered the race this month. So far, she faces just one opponent, Republican candidate Chris Scherer who, as of the end of April, had already banked nearly $31,000 for his bid. 

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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