John Hendricks backs Chris Scherer to address ‘unique issues’ on beaches
Image via Chris Scherer campaign

Finished - Chris Scherer-8
That's a big deal for a candidate facing a former beach Mayor at the ballot box.

Former Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks is endorsing Chris Scherer for Pinellas County Commission, citing his ability to address challenges specific to waterfront communities.

“Our beach communities deserve an advocate on the County Commission who understands the unique issues affecting our way of life,” said former Mayor John Hendricks.

“Chris Scherer is devoted to protecting our fragile beaches and precious waterways. We’ve discussed issues such as beach erosion, renourishment, stormwater management and more, and I look forward to working with him to protect our coastal neighborhoods.”

Ironically, Scherer faces an opponent who likely would argue she’s more equipped to understand beach issues. Cookie Kennedy, a Democrat, is the former Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach and is challenging Scherer, a Republican, for the open District 1 seat.

Kennedy left office last month. Her capstone project for her degree at St. Petersburg College, which she is currently completing, is about the pros and cons of short-term rentals, an issue that most acutely affects beach communities.

So it means that much more to Scherer to have a nod from a neighboring town leader.

“No one has a deeper understanding of the issues facing our beaches than Mayor Hendricks,” Scherer said. “I am honored to receive John’s endorsement and support, and I’m excited to continue working with him to protect our beaches, waterways, and coastal communities for generations to come.”

Scherer and Kennedy are vying for the seat currently held by Janet Long, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election.

The GOP has been eyeing Long’s seat for years, coming within striking distance four years ago, but narrowly missing the chance to flip her seat. Long defeated Republican former Rep. Larry Ahern in that race by just 1 percentage point.

Scherer graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in finance before relocating to Pinellas County and obtaining his Class-A Contractors and Real Estate Brokerage licenses. He founded Scherer Development in 1994, a company that provides clients with development services ranging from site selection and design to construction, leasing and property management.

Scherer said he’s running “to protect and improve what makes Pinellas special,” which includes a platform of preserving the environment; lowering taxes; enacting term limits; supporting law enforcement; and securing elections.

Scherer’s father was a U.S. Naval Captain who served in Vietnam. Scherer said he is an avid volunteer, including at St. Vincent DePaul. He also served from 2010 to 2016 on the St. Pete Development Review Commission.

Hendricks’ nod follows endorsements from former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and Pinellas County Commissioners Dave Eggers and Brian Scott. Scott is the incumbent County Commissioner who flipped control to the GOP by defeating former Commissioner Pat Gerard. Prior to Scott’s victory, Democrats had a narrow majority.

Scherer has also earned support from the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association; former Pinellas County Sheriff Jim CoatsSen. 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 raised more than $200,000 for his race, through his official campaign and an affiliated political committee. That’s more than double what Kennedy has raised, at $95,208.

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].


  • Dont Say FLA

    May 8, 2024 at 2:39 pm

    Hope everybody’s ready for the new dead jellyfish washing up on beaches.

    They’ll be abortions, not jellyfish!

    Abortions dumped at sea from abortion cruise lines will be regularly washing up on panhandle beaches.

  • Universal elite

    May 9, 2024 at 8:46 pm

    Mine me and ours. Humans don’t understand. No it’s not

Comments are closed.


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