Chris Scherer lands Richard Corcoran’s endorsement for Pinellas Commission

Richard Corcoran, now head of New College, praised Scherer for his commitment to education.

Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Richard Corcoran is supporting businessman Chris Scherer in his bid for Pinellas County Commission, District 1.

“Chris Scherer is a conservative business owner and community volunteer who will serve Pinellas County residents well,” said Corcoran, who previously served as Florida Education Commissioner and is now the President of New College. “Recently appointed by Gov. DeSantis to the Florida Early Learning Coalition, Scherer has consistently shown that he values a wholesome education based on the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic.” 

Corcoran also praised Scherer for understanding “that education is the key to economic prosperity.”

“Scherer’s record of community service, financial education, and 35 years of experience in the construction industry make him the obvious choice for the Pinellas County Commission,” Corcoran added.

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. 

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

Scherer called Corcoran’s endorsement “an honor.”

“His distinguished leadership and commitment to improving education in both the Florida Legislature and as Education Commissioner will continue to benefit our students for generations,” Scherer said, adding that he is “grateful for his support.”

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., Belleair Bluffs Mayor Chris Arbutine 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.


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