Chris Arbutine Sr. backs Chris Scherer for Pinellas County Commission

The Belleair Bluffs Mayor touts Scherer's experience as a business owner and conservative leader.

Belleair Bluffs Mayor Chris Arbutine Sr. is endorsingd Chris Scherer for Pinellas County Commission, District 1. 

In addition to his service as Mayor, Arbutine is the President and CEO of Belleair Coins, Inc., his family’s business since 1972. He pointed to his experience as a small-business owner and operator in his endorsement for Scherer.

“As a fellow business owner and employer here in Pinellas County, I know that Chris Scherer has what it takes to support our local economy, make responsible decisions on behalf of businesses and residents, and keep our waterways clean,” Arbutine said.

“Our families deserve a leader who will stop excessive spending and property tax hikes while taking action to make Pinellas affordable again. Scherer can do that, and I am excited to endorse his campaign.”

It’s worth noting that the current Board of County Commissioners did not raise property tax rates in its most recent budget agreement and, the two prior fiscal years, actually rolled rates back.

Scherer, a Republican, is running to replace Democratic incumbent Janet Long, who is not seeking re-election. Scherer faces Democrat Cookie Kennedy, the current Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach. 

Scherer is outraising Kennedy by about 2-to-1, according to the most recent finance reports. He brought in $27,535 to his campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Chris Scherer, in the third quarter, which includes fundraising and spending activity from July through September. Overall, Scherer has raised about $131,000, compared to Kennedy’s less than $63,000.

“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of Mayor Chris Arbutine,” Scherer said Monday of the nod. “He is a local businessman with a deep understanding of what makes our coastal communities prosper, as well as their integral role in the entire Pinellas economy. I am thankful for his service and look forward to continuing our work together.”

Long’s departure from her position sets up an open race for a countywide seat Republicans have long eyed for a flip. 

Republicans recently flipped the political makeup of the Pinellas County Commission in the 2022 Midterms and are looking to grow that advantage with a Scherer victory next year.

They’re also eyeing Charlie Justice’s seat, with a bid by Republican Vincent Nowicki to unseat the longtime Democratic Commissioner.

Scherer has received several notable GOP nods, including from Rep. Bernie Jacques, Clearwater interim Mayor Brian Aungst Sr., former Sen. Jeff Brandes, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, former St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon and Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.

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.

One comment

  • Delane Duncan Davis

    November 2, 2023 at 12:06 am

    I support Chris Scherer and I want to volunteer for his campaign to help him assure his seat as County Commissioner.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn