Cookie Kennedy to attend private fundraiser Tuesday as the GOP threatens a long-held Democratic seat
Cookie Kennedy is ready for a closer look at regulations on short-term vacation rentals.

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The fundraiser comes as Kennedy trails her opponent in fundraising, and could help bridge the gap.

Pinellas County Commission candidate Cookie Kennedy, the current Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach, will attend a private fundraiser Tuesday in her hometown as she vies for the open District 1 seat.

The fundraiser suggests four levels of sponsorship levels, beginning at $100 as a “friend” of the campaign, up to $1,000 to be a host, the maximum contribution allowable.

Kennedy is running for the seat currently held by fellow Democrat Janet Long, who is not seeking re-election. The Indian Rocks Beach Mayor faces Republican Chris Scherer.

The fundraiser comes as Kennedy trails Scherer in fundraising, and could help bridge the gap. Scherer has raised more than $200,000 for the race between his campaign and political committee, Friends of Chris Scherer. Kennedy has raised $95,208.

The campaign is looking for momentum heading into heavy campaign season in the Summer and Fall, after raising just over $11,000 in the first quarter.

While her numbers lag, Scherer’s Kennedy is showing grassroots support, with 61 contributions averaging about $183 each to her campaign from January through March. By comparison, Scherer’s campaign brought in 56 donations, averaging more than $500 each.

Republicans, after years of registration gains, now outnumber Democrats in Pinellas County. District 1 is an at large seat, meaning it is up for election countywide in both the Primary and the General. While Democrats are outnumbered in the county, the margin is far less countywide than it is within District 1, where Republicans have about a 26,000-voter advantage, or about 11 percentage points. The margin countywide is about 16,000 voters, or just a little over a percentage point.

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.

For more information on the private event, including to attend, contact the Kennedy campaign.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • Athos Dune

    April 23, 2024 at 1:41 pm

    As a Florida and St Petersburg native, this out look is terrifying. Republicans controlling all of Pinellas County. How did this happen? I live on Pass A Grille and we are battling the developers who are planning a $1.3 billion project at the Sirata, a $500,000 re development of the Trade Winds and now the Post Inn, the Miramar and I don’t know which other hotels on St Pete Beach are getting in line for their CUP. This is all Republican driven to take over local government.

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