More cops are backing Chris Scherer in his bid for Pinellas County Commission, District 1.
The Suncoast Police Benevolent Association is the latest group to endorse the Republican candidate, following a nod from former Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats.
Scherer is running for the at large District 1 seat currently held by Janet Long, a Democrat. Democrat Cookie Kennedy, the current Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach, is also running to succeed Long, who is retiring from office.
Scherer called the latest endorsement in his race an honor.
“Our Pinellas communities are indebted to the sacrifice and service of our local police departments,” Scherer said. “I look forward to fighting on the Pinellas County Commission to equip our law enforcement officers with the tools they need to accomplish their mission and keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Scherer’s list of endorsements is growing. In addition to the latest nod from the PBA and from Coats, Scherer has also earned support from Sen. Nick DiCeglie; former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran; 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.
Scherer has more than doubled Kennedy in fundraising for the race so far, with more than $155,000 raised between his official campaign and affiliated political committee, Friends of Chris Scherer. Kennedy’s campaign has matched Scherer’s — both have raised about $84,000 — but she doesn’t have an affiliated political committee boosting her spending power.
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 this year.
They’re also eyeing Charlie Justice’s seat, with a bid by Republican Vincent Nowicki to unseat the longtime Democratic Commissioner.